In Madagascar, conservationists have found a new, mongoose-like, cat-sized, carnivorous swamp creature, the Durrell’s vontsira (Salanoia durrelli), named after Gerald Durrell. It lives in Lac Alaotra, the country’s largest lake, and is the first carnivorous mammal found in Madagascar in 24 years. Unfortunately, its habitat is endangered due to deforested watersheds, pollution, and bad rice-farming practices, so this species may disappear before we get the chance to see how delicious it is.
“We have known for some time that a carnivore lives in the Lac Alaotra marshes, but we’ve always assumed it was a brown-tailed vontsira that is also found in the eastern rainforests,” said Fidimalala Bruno Ralainasolo, a conservation biologist working for Durrell Wildlife Conservation Trust who originally captured the new carnivore. “However, differences in its skull, teeth, and paws have shown that this animal is clearly a different species with adaptations to life in an aquatic environment.” [Mongabay via io9]
And yet, people call me crazy when I say we’ve known for some time that a carnivore lives in the marshes I created behind my house with a garden hose. Oh, I’ll find it. They’ll see.
Below is the amazing, 100% scientifically accurate video of this new species, which totally isn’t a video of a cat dressed as a bee failing spectacularly.