Photos (c) Art Wolfe

Pallas' Cat or Manul - Otocolobus manul

Weight: 7-12 lbs
Head/Body: 22 in
Tail: 10 in
Subspecies: 3

The oldest living species of cat, evolving some 10 million years ago, Pallas' cat is similar to the lynx in facial structure, with a large, sturdy body and short legs. Its head is short and broad, with large round eyes and blunt wide-set ears. Its long, silky coat varies in color from light gray to russet brown, with white tips to its hairs giving a sparkling, almost iridescent appearance. There are dark lines on its cheeks, rings on its tail, and its lips, chin, and throat are white.

The Pallas' cat may be found on the rocky plateaus and river banks of central Asia, where it hunts by night, from the ground, and seeks small mammals and birds.