Standing just 8 to 10 inches tall, the African black-footed cat resembles a petite version of your average neighborhood tabby.
But though the speckled feline is unequivocally adorable, a vicious, adept killer lies beneath its charming exterior.
Felis nigripes, as the black-footed feline is formally named, is, in fact, Africa’s smallest cat. To give you some perspective on that statistic, the black-footed cat, which averages 2.4 t0 4.2 pounds, weighs roughly 200 times less than your typical lion.
Still, don’t be fooled by its demure stature—the species is also the deadliest of all the world’s felines, capturing more prey in a single night than a leopard does in six months.
As Live Science’s Mindy Weisberger reports, the cat’s skills were featured in the ongoing PBS Nature miniseries “Super Cats,” which spotlighted the tiny predator in a suitably creepy Halloween installment.
Producer Gavin Boyland tells Weisberger that the filmmakers worked with Cologne Zoo curator Alexander Sliwa to secure footage of the elusive feline. Unlike big cats, the black-footed cat tends to disappear into the tall grasses of the African savannah, making its exploits difficult to track via camera.
Luckily, the zoo had previously outfitted several South African-based cats with radio collars, allowing the team to detect their nocturnal hunts with the help of an advanced light-sensitive camera.
The segment itself focuses on a female cat named Gyra. Narrator F. Murray Abraham explains the cat’s excellent night vision and hearing turns “almost anything that moves…[into] a potential meal.”
Dressed in flowing red skirts and draped in colorful bead necklaces but otherwise bare bodied, the warriors from the legendary Kenyan tribe of Maasai are one of the world’s most unusual and unlikely cricketing teams.
Dropping their spears in favor of cricket bats and leather balls, this group of youth is trying to promote healthy living within their community, and spreading awareness about HIV/AIDS and women’s issues by using sports as the medium.
They call themselves the Maasai Cricket Warriors.
Cricket came to this remote corner of Kenya six years ago entirely because of the efforts and passion of one South African woman, Aliya Bauer, who coaches the Maasai team.
Bauer was sent to Kenya’s Laikipia region to work on a research project about baboons.
Stationed there in the bush, she missed cricket so much that she decided to introduce the game to the local community.
A displaced woman looks at her child, who is hiding behind her dress, in a school now occupied by internally displaced people after heavy rains and floods forced hundreds of thousands of people to leave their homes in the town of Pibor.
The newly-discovered species, named the Desert Tawny Owl, belongs to the earless owl genus, Strix.
It is a medium-sized owl, 30 to 33 centimeters long, and weighing 140 to 220 grams.
It resembles the Hume’s Owl (Strix butleri) and the Tawny Owl (Strix aluco) in plumage pattern and proportions.
The species’ scientific name, Strix hadorami, honors Israeli ornithologist and writer Hadoram Shirihai.
“It is a special pleasure to name this bird for Hadoram Shirihai, a much-valued colleague and collaborator for 20 years,” Dr Schweizer and his colleagues wrote in a paper in the journal Zootaxa.
“Although Hadoram’s ornithological interests are staggeringly wide-ranging, his name is arguably particularly synonymous with this wonderful owl of wild places in the Middle East.
He discovered, when still a young boy, a live but poisoned specimen (of the Desert Tawny Owl) in En Gedi, which became the first individual to be held in captivity and is now a skeleton in the Tel Aviv University Museum.”