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The Kodkod (Leopardus guigna), alternatively spelled Codcod and also known as the Guina, is the smallest cat in the Americas. It is found only in Central and South Chile and Argentina, in the Andes Mountains. Little is known about this species, because it is extremely rare and very elusive.

The size of an adult Kodkod is 22.5 kg (4.55.5 lb) with a typical length of 4251 cm (1620 in) and a shoulder height of about 25 cm (10 in). Its coloring ranges from brownish-yellow to grey-brown with dark spots, with melanistic varieties (black forms) quite common. It has a pale underside and a ringed tail with black bands across its throat. The Kodkod has a small head, large feet, and a thick tail.

The Kodkod lives in evergreen temperate rainforests, deciduous temperate moist forests, sclerophyllous scrub, and coniferous forests particularly near water. Its most unusual characteristic is that it nests in bamboo thickets under trees.

The primary prey of the Kodkod are small rodents, birds and insects. It has been reported to raid hen houses.

Its gestation period lasts about 7278 days. The average litter size is one to three kittens. This species may live to be about 11 years old.

There are two known subspecies of this cat: L. g. guigna and L. g. tigrillo. L. g. guigna is found in Southern Chile and Argentina. L. g. trigrillo is found in Central Chile.

The Kodkod was formerly a member of the genus Oncifelis, which consisted of three small feline species native to South America. These species have been moved into the genus Leopardus. Along with the Kodkod, the former members of Oncifelis were the Colocolo and Geoffroy's Cat.

External links

The World Conservation Union Cat Specialist Group - Kodkod

The Kodkod at Big Cats Online

Lioncrusher's Domain Kodkod Page

The Spatial Ecology of the Guina in Southern Chile

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article Kodkod

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