Kurilian Bobtail
The Kurilian Bobtail is a cat breed (or breed group, depending on registry) originating from the Kuril Islands
Kuril Islands
The Kuril Islands , in Russia's Sakhalin Oblast region, form a volcanic archipelago that stretches approximately northeast from Hokkaidō, Japan, to Kamchatka, Russia, separating the Sea of Okhotsk from the North Pacific Ocean. There are 56 islands and many more minor rocks. It consists of Greater...

, claimed by both Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 and Japan
Japan is an island nation in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies to the east of the Sea of Japan, China, North Korea, South Korea and Russia, stretching from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and Taiwan in the south...

 and Sakhalin Island, Russia. Short- or long-haired, it has a semi-cobby body type and a distinct short, fluffy tail. The back is slightly arched with hind legs longer than the front, similar to those of the Manx
Manx (cat)
The Manx cat , formerly often spelled Manks, is a breed of domestic cat originating on the Isle of Man, with a naturally occurring mutation that shortens the tail...

. The breed is also called the Kuril Islands Bobtail, Kuril Bobtail (both often misspelled "Kurile") and Curilsk Bobtail, and may be referred to without "Bobtail". The original shorthaired variant is a natural breed, known on the islands for over 200 years. As selectively-bred
Selective breeding
Selective breeding is the process of breeding plants and animals for particular genetic traits. Typically, strains that are selectively bred are domesticated, and the breeding is sometimes done by a professional breeder. Bred animals are known as breeds, while bred plants are known as varieties,...

 pets, they have been popular in Russia and to some extent other parts of Europe, especially for their mousing abilities, since the middle of the 20th century, but remain rare in North America .

Kurilians are recognized as a breed group of a pair related short- and long-haired breeds by both the The International Cat Association
The International Cat Association
The International Cat Association, commonly known as TICA, is the world's largest genetic cat registry. Originally a North American organization, it now has a worldwide presence...

 (which considers them "Advanced New Breeds" ineligible for championship status) and the Fédération Internationale Féline
Fédération Internationale Féline
The Fédération Internationale Féline is a federation of cat registries. There are currently thirty-nine member organizations in thirty-seven countries. Membership spans Europe, South America, and Asia....

. The World Cat Federation recognizes them as a single breed. , the Cat Fanciers Association does not recognize the breed.

While possibly closely related to the Japanese Bobtail breed, the Kurilian originated on the complete opposite side of Eurasia
Eurasia is a continent or supercontinent comprising the traditional continents of Europe and Asia ; covering about 52,990,000 km2 or about 10.6% of the Earth's surface located primarily in the eastern and northern hemispheres...

 from the similarly named Karelian Bobtail of western Russia and Finland, and is thus unlikely to be a near relative. Genetic studies may eventually demonstrate the breed's connection to others. Just as the Japanese Bobtail and tailless-to-short-tailed Manx
Manx (cat)
The Manx cat , formerly often spelled Manks, is a breed of domestic cat originating on the Isle of Man, with a naturally occurring mutation that shortens the tail...

 arose independently on islands a world apart, the Kurilian's bobbed tail may be an isolated spontaneous mutation
In molecular biology and genetics, mutations are changes in a genomic sequence: the DNA sequence of a cell's genome or the DNA or RNA sequence of a virus. They can be defined as sudden and spontaneous changes in the cell. Mutations are caused by radiation, viruses, transposons and mutagenic...

, that became common on the Kulri Islands because of the limited genetic diversity
Genetic diversity
Genetic diversity, the level of biodiversity, refers to the total number of genetic characteristics in the genetic makeup of a species. It is distinguished from genetic variability, which describes the tendency of genetic characteristics to vary....

 of island biogeography
Island biogeography
Island biogeography is a field within biogeography that attempts to establish and explain the factors that affect the species richness of natural communities. The theory was developed to explain species richness of actual islands...

 (an example of the founder effect
Founder effect
In population genetics, the founder effect is the loss of genetic variation that occurs when a new population is established by a very small number of individuals from a larger population. It was first fully outlined by Ernst Mayr in 1942, using existing theoretical work by those such as Sewall...

 and, at , of the species-area curve
Species-area curve
In ecology, a species-area curve is a relationship between the area of a habitat, or of part of a habitat, and the number of species found within that area. Larger areas tend to contain larger numbers of species, and empirically, the relative numbers seem to follow systematic mathematical...


External links

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