Binturong
Overview
The Binturong also known as the Asian Bearcat, the Palawan Bearcat, or simply the Bearcat, is a species of the family Viverridae, which includes the civet
Civet
The family Viverridae is made up of around 30 species of medium-sized mammal, including all of the genets, the binturong, most of the civets, and the two African linsangs....

s and genet
Genet (animal)
Genets are Old World mammals from the order Carnivora, family Viverridae, related to civets and linsangs. All species are contained within the genus Genetta, although the Aquatic Genet is sometimes housed in its own genus Osbornictis....

s. It is the only member of its genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

. The binturong is not a bear
Bear
Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern...

, and the real meaning of the original name has been lost, as the local language that gave it that name is now extinct. Its natural habitat
Habitat
* Habitat , a place where a species lives and grows*Human habitat, a place where humans live, work or play** Space habitat, a space station intended as a permanent settlement...

 is in trees of forest canopy
Rainforest
Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions based on a minimum normal annual rainfall of 1750-2000 mm...

 in rainforest of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, Bhutan
Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

, Burma, Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

, Malaysia,Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, and Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

.

It is nocturnal
Nocturnal animal
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by activity during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal"....

 and sleeps on branches.
Encyclopedia
The Binturong also known as the Asian Bearcat, the Palawan Bearcat, or simply the Bearcat, is a species of the family Viverridae, which includes the civet
Civet
The family Viverridae is made up of around 30 species of medium-sized mammal, including all of the genets, the binturong, most of the civets, and the two African linsangs....

s and genet
Genet (animal)
Genets are Old World mammals from the order Carnivora, family Viverridae, related to civets and linsangs. All species are contained within the genus Genetta, although the Aquatic Genet is sometimes housed in its own genus Osbornictis....

s. It is the only member of its genus
Genus
In biology, a genus is a low-level taxonomic rank used in the biological classification of living and fossil organisms, which is an example of definition by genus and differentia...

. The binturong is not a bear
Bear
Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern...

, and the real meaning of the original name has been lost, as the local language that gave it that name is now extinct. Its natural habitat
Habitat
* Habitat , a place where a species lives and grows*Human habitat, a place where humans live, work or play** Space habitat, a space station intended as a permanent settlement...

 is in trees of forest canopy
Rainforest
Rainforests are forests characterized by high rainfall, with definitions based on a minimum normal annual rainfall of 1750-2000 mm...

 in rainforest of Bangladesh
Bangladesh
Bangladesh , officially the People's Republic of Bangladesh is a sovereign state located in South Asia. It is bordered by India on all sides except for a small border with Burma to the far southeast and by the Bay of Bengal to the south...

, Bhutan
Bhutan
Bhutan , officially the Kingdom of Bhutan, is a landlocked state in South Asia, located at the eastern end of the Himalayas and bordered to the south, east and west by the Republic of India and to the north by the People's Republic of China...

, Burma, Cambodia
Cambodia
Cambodia , officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia...

, China
China
Chinese civilization may refer to:* China for more general discussion of the country.* Chinese culture* Greater China, the transnational community of ethnic Chinese.* History of China* Sinosphere, the area historically affected by Chinese culture...

, India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, Indonesia
Indonesia
Indonesia , officially the Republic of Indonesia , is a country in Southeast Asia and Oceania. Indonesia is an archipelago comprising approximately 13,000 islands. It has 33 provinces with over 238 million people, and is the world's fourth most populous country. Indonesia is a republic, with an...

, Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

, Malaysia,Nepal
Nepal
Nepal , officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Nepal, is a landlocked sovereign state located in South Asia. It is located in the Himalayas and bordered to the north by the People's Republic of China, and to the south, east, and west by the Republic of India...

, the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

, Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

, Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

, and Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

.

It is nocturnal
Nocturnal animal
Nocturnality is an animal behavior characterized by activity during the night and sleeping during the day. The common adjective is "nocturnal"....

 and sleeps on branches. It eats primarily fruit, but also has been known to eat egg
Egg (biology)
An egg is an organic vessel in which an embryo first begins to develop. In most birds, reptiles, insects, molluscs, fish, and monotremes, an egg is the zygote, resulting from fertilization of the ovum, which is expelled from the body and permitted to develop outside the body until the developing...

s, shoots, leaves, and small animals, such as rodent
Rodent
Rodentia is an order of mammals also known as rodents, characterised by two continuously growing incisors in the upper and lower jaws which must be kept short by gnawing....

s or birds. Deforestation
Deforestation
Deforestation is the removal of a forest or stand of trees where the land is thereafter converted to a nonforest use. Examples of deforestation include conversion of forestland to farms, ranches, or urban use....

 has greatly reduced its numbers. When cornered, the Binturong can be vicious. The Binturong can make chuckling sounds when it seems to be happy and utter a high-pitched wail if annoyed. The Binturong can live over 20 years in captivity
Captivity (animal)
Animals that live under human care are in captivity. Captivity can be used as a generalizing term to describe the keeping of either domesticated animals or wild animals. This may include for example farms, private homes and zoos...

; one has been recorded to have lived almost 26 years.

Physical

Being burly and omnivorous
Omnivore
Omnivores are species that eat both plants and animals as their primary food source...

, the Binturong is sometimes compared to a bear
Bear
Bears are mammals of the family Ursidae. Bears are classified as caniforms, or doglike carnivorans, with the pinnipeds being their closest living relatives. Although there are only eight living species of bear, they are widespread, appearing in a wide variety of habitats throughout the Northern...

, but is closer in size to a large cat
Cat
The cat , also known as the domestic cat or housecat to distinguish it from other felids and felines, is a small, usually furry, domesticated, carnivorous mammal that is valued by humans for its companionship and for its ability to hunt vermin and household pests...

. Its average length is usually between 60 –, and average weight ranges between 9 –, although some exceptional individuals have been known to weigh 22 kg (48.5 lb) or more. Its body is covered with coarse and thick black fur. It has lighter or silver fur on its face, to make it appear larger to other animals. The tail, bushy and fully prehensile
Prehensile tail
A prehensile tail is the tail of an animal that has adapted to be able to grasp and/or hold objects. Fully prehensile tails can be used to hold and manipulate objects, and in particular to aid arboreal creatures in finding and eating food in the trees...

, can act as a fifth hand and is nearly as long as the animal's own length. The ears of the Binturong are small and rounded, and it has small eyes.

Reproduction

The estrous period
Estrous cycle
The estrous cycle comprises the recurring physiologic changes that are induced by reproductive hormones in most mammalian placental females. Estrous cycles start after puberty in sexually mature females and are interrupted by anestrous phases or pregnancies...

 of the Binturong is 81 days, with a gestation
Gestation
Gestation is the carrying of an embryo or fetus inside a female viviparous animal. Mammals during pregnancy can have one or more gestations at the same time ....

 of 91 days. The Binturong is one of approximately 100 species of mammal
Mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

 believed by many husbandry experts to be capable of embryonic diapause
Embryonic diapause
Delayed Implantation or Embryonic Diapause is a reproductive strategy used by approximately 100 different mammals in seven or eight different orders. In embryonic diapause, the embryo does not immediately implant in the uterus, but is maintained in a state of dormancy. Little to no development...

, or delayed implantation, which allows the female of the species to time parturition
Childbirth
Childbirth is the culmination of a human pregnancy or gestation period with the birth of one or more newborn infants from a woman's uterus...

 to coincide with favorable environmental conditions. Typical birthing is of two offspring, but up to six may occur.

The average age of sexual maturation is 30.4 months for females and 27.7 months for males. Fertility lasts until 15 years of age.

Behavior

The Binturong climbs trees and leaps from branch to branch, using its tail and claws to cling while searching for food. It can rotate its hind legs backwards so that its claws still have a grip when climbing down a tree head first.

The Binturong also uses its tail to communicate, through the scent gland
Scent gland
Scent glands are found in the genital area of most mammals and in various other parts of the body, such as the underarms of humans and the preorbital glands of deer and muskox. They produce a semi-viscous fluid which contains pheromones. These odor-messengers indicate information such as status,...

s located on either side of the anus in both males and females. The females also possess paired scent glands on either side of the vulva. The scent of Binturong musk is often compared to that of warm buttered popcorn
Popcorn
Popcorn, or popping corn, is corn which expands from the kernel and puffs up when heated. Corn is able to pop because, like sorghum, quinoa and millet, its kernels have a hard moisture-sealed hull and a dense starchy interior. This allows pressure to build inside the kernel until an explosive...

  and cornbread. The Binturong brushes its tail against trees and howls to announce its presence to other Binturongs.

Binturongs have an average annual range of 6.2 km² (2.4 sq mi) and travel about 688 m (2,257.2 ft) per day.

The Orang Asli
Orang Asli
Orang Asli , is a generic Malaysian term used for people indigenous to Peninsular Malaysia...

 of Malaysia keep Binturong as pets.

Ecological significance

The Binturong is an important animal for seed dispersal, especially those of the Strangler Fig
Strangler Fig
Strangler fig is the common name for a number of tropical and subtropical plant species, including some banyans and unrelated vines, including among many other species:* Ficus aurea, also known as the Florida Strangler Fig...

, because of its ability to scarify the seed's tough outer covering.

Subspecies

Six subspecies are recognized (A. b. albifrons, A. b. binturong, A. b. kerkhoveni, A. b. memglaensis, A. b. penicillatus, and A. b. whitei). The Palawan Binturong
Palawan Binturong
The Palawan binturong or Palawan bearcat is a subspecies of the binturong that is endemic to the Philippine island of Palawan.- Physical characteristics :...

 (A. b. whitei) of the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

 is vulnerable
Vulnerable species
On 30 January 2010, the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species identified 9694 Vulnerable species, subspecies and varieties, stocks and sub-populations.-References:...

 due to habitat destruction
Habitat destruction
Habitat destruction is the process in which natural habitat is rendered functionally unable to support the species present. In this process, the organisms that previously used the site are displaced or destroyed, reducing biodiversity. Habitat destruction by human activity mainly for the purpose of...

 and poaching
Poaching
Poaching is the illegal taking of wild plants or animals contrary to local and international conservation and wildlife management laws. Violations of hunting laws and regulations are normally punishable by law and, collectively, such violations are known as poaching.It may be illegal and in...

for its medicinal uses, its fur and its demand in the pet trade.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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