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RINGTAIL

The Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) is a mammal of the raccoon family (thus not actually a cat), native to arid regions of North America. It is also known as the Ringtail cat, Ring-tailed cat or Miner's cat, and is also sometimes mistakenly called a "civet cat" (after similar, though unrelated, cat-like omnivores of Asia and Africa). The Ringtail is sometimes called a cacomistle, though this term seems to be more often used to refer to Bassariscus sumichrasti.

Ringtail

Ten Facts about Ringtail

  1. The Ringtail is buff to dark brown in color with white underparts and a flashy black and white striped tail that has 14-16 white and black stripes, which is longer than the rest of its body.
  2. It is smaller than a housecat, measuring 30-42 cm long with a tail of 31-44 cm and weighing 0.8-1.5 kg.
  3. Ringtails have occasionally been hunted for their pelts, but the fur is not especially valuable.
  4. The Ringtail is found in California, Colorado, Oklahoma, Oregon, Arizona, New Mexico, Nevada, Texas, Utah and throughout northern and central Mexico.
  5. The ankle joint is flexible and able to rotate over 180 degrees, a trait helping make it an agile climber.
  6. It is omnivorous, eating fruits, berries, insects, lizards, small rodents, and birds. Owls, foxes, coyotes, raccoons and bobcats will prey upon ringtails.
  7. It is nocturnal, solitary, timid, and rarely seen.
  8. These small omnivores produce a variety of sounds, including clicks and chatters reminiscent of raccoons. A typical call is a very loud, plaintive bark.
  9. Ringtails mate in the spring. The gestation period is 45-50 days, during which the male will procure food for the female.
  10. There will be 2-4 cubs in a litter. The cubs open their eyes after a month, and will hunt for themselves after four months.



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