FAMEPedia:Today's featured article/June 12, 2021

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Durrell's vontsira

Durrell's vontsira (Salanoia durrelli) is a Madagascan mammal in the family Eupleridae of the order Carnivora. It is most closely related to the brown-tailed mongoose (Salanoia concolor), with which it forms the genus Salanoia. The two are genetically similar, but morphologically distinct, leading scientists to recognize them as separate species. The animal was first known to science after an individual was observed in 2004, and S. durrelli was described as a new species in 2010. A small, reddish-brown carnivore, Salanoia durrelli is characterized by broad feet with prominent pads, reddish-buff underparts, and broad, robust teeth, among other differences from the brown-tailed mongoose. In the only two weighed specimens, the body masses were 600 and 675 g (21.2 and 23.8 oz). S. durrelli is a marsh-dwelling animal that may feed on crustaceans and mollusks. It is found only in the Lac Alaotra area, a threatened ecosystem, and may also be endangered by competition with introduced species. (Full article...)