Felis margarita. The sand cat may look like a house cat, but this wild feline is specially adapted for life in extreme heat and cold: a thick insulating coat, long fur that covers their foot pads, enhanced hearing, low moisture requirements, and a camouflaging sandy color.
Footage of the sand cats appears to have been filmed at the Cincinnati Zoo and Botanical Garden and the Mesker Park Zoo. Biologist Grégory Breton provided the rare footage of sand cat kittens, filmed at 2am in the Moroccan Sahara.
Via the Smithsonian National Zoo, though they can be hard to spot or study, they can be found in “Africa’s Sahara desert, which stretches through Algeria, Niger and Morocco; throughout the Arabian peninsula; and in parts of central Asia including Turkmenistan, Iran, Pakistan and Afghanistan.”
“Like all Small Cats, Sand Cats are incredibly elusive, and we know very little about them. Their populations are spread out, in remote areas with harsh environments, and so studying them is almost impossible.
“Fortunately, for the same reasons that they are hard to study, they are also protected from poaching and human encroachment. In fact until 2015, we knew almost nothing about these desert dwelling felines, and we still have so much more to learn.”
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