Cats are said to be “liquid”…but are “tigers” and “lions” also “liquid”? | FRIDAY DIGITAL

Cats are said to be “liquid”…but are “tigers” and “lions” also “liquid”?

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Same “cat family” but different!

The commercial “Cats are Liquids.”

In 2017, Marc-Antoine Fardin of the University of Paris 7 said , “A solid is something that maintains a certain volume and shape. A liquid is one whose volume does not change but whose shape changes to fit its container. Therefore, the cat is a liquid,” he explained, for which he received the Ig nobel prize. Indeed, a cat can fit its body completely inside a square milk carton or a round container.

The cat’s body can transform to fit the container. This is proof of the wildness that they have acquired to survive in the forest. If we keep cats only in the house all the time, they may lose their unique functions…

What about cheetahs and lions, which are also members of the cat family?

Cheetahs and pumas are no different. I think they, too, can adapt their bodies to a round container if there is one. Cheetahs are flexible because they bend and stretch their backs when they run. However, because of their large size, it may be difficult for them to change their body shape as flexibly as cats.

I doubt that tigers can fit into round containers because of their size, but I do think they are flexible.”

Says veterinarian Ikuko Hiramatsu.

It’s not just about being round or square. Cats can also twist their bodies.

My cats sometimes sleep with their upper and lower bodies facing 180 degrees apart,” says Ikuko Hiramatsu, a veterinarian. Even so, they don’t seem to be in any pain at all,” he says. Even so, they don’t seem to be in any pain at all.

It certainly looks like liquid.

Cats and dogs have the same ancestors!

The reason cats have such soft bodies, Hiramatsu says, is because they adapted to their environment.

The ancestor of cats and dogs was an animal called the miaxis, which is said to have inhabited the area some 65 to 45 million years ago. Originally, they lived in the forest, but when competition for survival became fierce, some of the myaquis left the forest to change their habitat. They then evolved into canines.

Cats, on the other hand, lived in the forest, hiding in the forest, and when prey passed by, they would leap out from their hiding places to catch it. They had to be flexible in order to survive, as they climbed to the tops of tall trees and jumped down from there.

Aoshima Island, Miyazaki Prefecture, also known as “Cat Island” (PHOTO: AFRO)

It’s not just that they can be round or square.

There is a reason why cats have soft bodies.

One of the reasons cats have soft bodies is that they have a large number of bones. Cats have about 240 bones, while humans have about 200. The large number of bones in a small body means that there are many parts that can be bent. In addition, the intervertebral disc material that connects the spine is soft, allowing it to bend both vertically and horizontally.

Bones and muscles are connected by ligaments, and cats have soft ligaments, allowing them to stretch more flexibly than dogs. Cats also have a very small clavicle that connects the sternum to the arm bones, which is only a trace. So they can stretch back and forth, but they can also stretch well from side to side and narrow their shoulders.”

When the cat is lifted up, it stretches byyon and can become twice as long as usual. This is due to the softness of the ligaments.

Cats’ desire to hide in small, dark places and their freewheeling, solitary behavior are also the result of their wild instincts to avoid detection by their enemies.

Canines came to live with humans about 15,000 years ago. In contrast, cats were domesticated 40 to 50 million years ago. Unlike dogs, cats, which have lived with humans for only a short time, have not yet lost their wildness.

A “lion” is as close to a dog as possible! (PHOTO: AFRO)

A “lion” is as close to a dog as possible. How it got that way is a mystery…

Then, how about the lion?

We don’t know about lions. Other feline animals hunt alone, but lions hunt in groups and are not often seen climbing trees.

It seems that research is still being done on why lions live in groups. There are various ideas, such as to protect their territory or to increase their reproductive rate. Unfortunately, the rate of prey capture in solitary and group situations is the same.

In addition to the fact that it is difficult for lions to protect their territory when acting alone, I think that lions, which have instantaneous power but lack staying power, have come to hunt in groups in order to catch their prey efficiently.

It is said that canines, which moved to the grasslands to live, developed muscular bodies to protect themselves and leg strength to run fast. But why flexibility was lost from the lion’s body is a mystery, he says. Come to think of it, lions live in grasslands, which is unusual among feline animals.

Of all the members of the cat family, lions are the only ones that are special. The way they hunt and the way they live in packs is closer to that of dogs than to that of cats. Why this is so is still being studied.

Did they become more like dogs and lose the flexibility characteristic of the feline family because they went out into the grasslands to search for an ideal living place?

If the environment changes the body, does it also change cats that are kept by people?

I think so. “Unnecessary functions will degenerate, so they may change in the next 100 to 200 years. In fact, some of the cats that come to our clinic lack the ability to jump.

In order to preserve the functions of cats in the wild, Hiramatsu recommends that owners provide a cat tower or other place where the cats can move up and down.

It is a cat’s instinct to look down from high places, so I think it is important to create an environment that does not allow them to lose that instinct.

Cats are able to jump up and down because of their flexibility. We hope that cats will always remain as liquid and rubbery as ever.

Ikuko Hiramatsu After graduating from the Department of Veterinary Medicine, Faculty of Agriculture, Yamaguchi University, Ikuko Hiramatsu worked at several veterinary hospitals in Yamaguchi Prefecture. 2006, she opened “Fukufuku Animal Hospital. She is in charge of supervising the “Knowing and Nurturing Your Cat” articles on the “Neko Neko Club” website, which provide basic information on keeping and interacting with cats, such as cat health knowledge, how to raise and care for cats, etc. She is also the editor of the “Cat and Cat Club” website.

  • Interview and text by Izumi Nakagawa

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