COMMON NAME : Binturong / Malay civet cat / Bear cat

SCIENTIFIC NAME : Arctictis binturong

TYPE : Mammals

DIET : Omnivore

SIZE : Head and body of 60-95 cm; tail length of 50-90 cm

WEIGHT : 6-20 kg

IUCN RED LIST STATUS (Global) : Vulnerable


One of The Biggest from Viverridae

The binturong has shaggy black hair, which is sometimes streaked with silver, and wiry whiskers that can give the animal a rather frumpy appearance. Though binturongs aren’t as agile as squirrels or monkeys, these creatures are built for a life in the canopy. A tail nearly as long as the binturong’s body serves as a fifth limb for grabbing onto branches and tree trunks. With its tail latched safely around a branch, the binturong can sleep safely high above the ground. Another arboreal adaptation? Binturongs maintain a tight grip while walking face-first down a tree by rotating their hind paws 180 degrees. This allows their semi-retractable claws to sink into the bark (National Geographic Website).

Habitat and Diet

The binturong is native to the tropical rainforests of South and Southeast Asia, where it spends much of the day hidden in the canopy. Though they sport many adaptations for an arboreal lifestyle, binturongs do not seem to leap between trees. Instead, they must descend to the forest floor to investigate new areas. Even though the binturong belongs to the order Carnivora, the animals are omnivores through and through. Binturongs have been known to eat everything from small mammals, birds, fish, worms, and insects to plant shoots, leaves, and fruit (National Geographic Website).

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