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Domestic cats are 95% tiger

Posted on Tuesday, 1 October, 2013 | Comment icon 27 comments

Critically endangered - the snow leopard. Image Credit: CC BY-SA 2.0 Sini Merikallio
Researchers have succeeded in sequencing the genome of several species of endangered big cats.
Cat lovers might be forgiven for thinking that their beloved pet cats are far removed from their larger and more fearsome cousins, but amazingly domestic moggies have been found to share up to 95.6% of the same DNA as tigers, a species from which they diverged 10.8 million years ago.

The discovery was made by scientists who have been sequencing the genomes of several types of big cat in an effort to aid conservation efforts. Several species of endangered cats were examined as part of the project including the snow leopard of which there are only thought to be around 3,000 left in the wild.

Researchers hope that by sequencing their genomes it will help them to better understand and measure biodiversity and to be able to better decide with animals should be paired in breeding programs. With so few of the animals left, research of this kind could prove critical in preventing the species from disappearing forever within the next few years.

Source: TIME | Comments (27)

Tags: Cat, Tiger, Lion

Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #18 Posted by Lilly on 2 October, 2013, 0:55
So I guess 5% makes the difference between being pals or being din-din.
Comment icon #19 Posted by EtherialNight on 2 October, 2013, 2:20
It's real that is a Main coon kitty, a large species of Cat. I want one! They are related to the Norwegian Forest cat.
Comment icon #20 Posted by Lava_Lady on 2 October, 2013, 6:50
Meow, rowwwrrr!! I used to love watching my 2 cats hunt their "kill" in unison... such teamwork until it was time to decide who gets the sunny spot by the window, or who gets the human mommy's lap. Definitely "tigers"
Comment icon #21 Posted by mysticwerewolf on 3 October, 2013, 4:04
loved the snow leopard pix at the start of the story. I have always wondered why small cats are able to be domesticated while the bigger cats can not be. I would love to have a snow leopard as an animal companion. ( They are wild and I am smart enough not to try but I would still love it. they are beautiful.)
Comment icon #22 Posted by Lava_Lady on 3 October, 2013, 4:21
Are you talking about this guy? He's a Siberian White Tiger, according to the caption in the article. Unless I missed some other pics.
Comment icon #23 Posted by redhen on 3 October, 2013, 5:46
No, snow leopards have spots, like these cubs. Everybody go "awww"
Comment icon #24 Posted by mysticwerewolf on 3 October, 2013, 7:41
I don't know about Siberian, I am not That good at Iding tigers, but the above cat is definitely a white tiger and no he isn't what I was talking about when I read the UM home page story this thread was linked to / started by there was what looked to me like a snow leopard at the top of the story they looked very different from white Tigers, at least to me. the cubs in the post above this one are snow leopards, and they both look annoyed
Comment icon #25 Posted by Lava_Lady on 3 October, 2013, 8:11
Yeah, I don't think you would have mistaken them. They have very different markings. Perhaps the mistake was noticed and pic replaced? Like most young of any species, they probably hate to sit still to take pics! lol
Comment icon #26 Posted by Big Bad Voodoo on 12 October, 2013, 19:37
Comment icon #27 Posted by Novella on 14 October, 2013, 21:27
The breeding of the white tigers has always been something that p***ed me off. They're inbred due to the gene that makes them white being recessive. Fathers bred with daughters and mothers with their sons. I mean, think about the chances of survival of a white animal in their natural habitat--the exception being animals in the arctic or colder regions of the globe. It just wouldn't happen. I've read circumstances of the mother abandoning the white cub because of how it stands out in its environment, making them both a target to other predators. Also, imagine should the white ani... [More]

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