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My, What big ears you have

My, What big ears you have
Photo Information
Copyright: Mark Oxley (MojoUK) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 65 W: 7 N: 328] (1479)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2006-08-15
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Canon EOS 20D, Canon EF 100-400mm F/4.5-5.6L IS USM, Digital ISO 400
Exposure: f/6.3, 1/30 seconds
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Lesser cats of the world, Wild cats portraits [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2006-08-16 14:51
Viewed: 13948
Points: 40
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
This cute little animal is called a Sand Cat and was taken under very dim lighting conditions at Marwell Zoo. The image was shot through glass but by placing the lens hood flat against the window I eliminated any reflections. A monopod was used to minimise camera shake at such a low shutter speed and I then just had to hope the subject stayed still. Levels adjustment, a very small crop and USM were the only PP required.

The Sand Cat (Felis margarita) is a small wild cat (length 50 cm, plus 30 cm tail) distributed over African and Asian deserts. The name "Desert Cat" is reserved for a subspecies of the true Wild Cat, but it would go better with this species. It lives in those arid areas, that are even too hot and dry for the Desert Cat: the Sahara, the Arabian Desert, and the deserts of Iran and Pakistan.

The head is conspicuously broad, the ears are large and pointed. The colour of the fur is a sandy yellow, with pallid bars, which are sometimes hardly visible. Generally the bars are more visible in the African subspecies. The tip of the tail is black. The paws are covered with long hairs in order to protect the skin against the hot sand.

In the daytime the Sand Cat hides under rocks. At night it hunts for rodents, lizards and insects.

There are four subspecies:

Felis margarita margarita, Sahara
Felis margarita harrisoni, Arabia
Felis margarita thinobia, Iran
Felis margarita scheffeli, Pakistan

Felis m. thinobia is sometimes regarded as a separate species; Felis m. scheffeli is listed by CITES as endangered, although IUCN only lists it as 'near threatened' as of 2001.

bartove, klemmg, pat, liquidsunshine, aido, lovenature, jjcordier, horia, wkshelton, Glint, marhowie, Hil, graz has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

This is indeed the cutest of all cats !

He has real big ears...! But he is soooo cute!!
Very good and sharp picture.

Thank you very much for sharing!

Greetz Kristies

  • Great 
  • graz Silver Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 21 W: 0 N: 26] (216)
  • [2006-08-16 16:49]

Super shot m8. the quality is amazing and everything is sharp and clear. Fantastic. well done on the shot and thanks for a great day out with both of you,we enjoyed it.

  • Great 
  • klemmg Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 302 W: 40 N: 484] (1719)
  • [2006-08-16 17:06]

Excellent portrait complete with an interesting and personal note. The intensity of the stare and the great detail makes for a great eye-catcher.

Hi Mark,

What a lovely cat. Very nice portrait. Good POV, lighting and DOF.


  • Great 
  • pat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 87 W: 0 N: 125] (414)
  • [2006-08-16 17:56]

Excellent picture in all aspects. Very cute - I wonder if it is a kitten or an adult Sand Cat ? Its head, endeed, is very broad with large ears. I very much appreciate your note, so I have learned that there are so many of different wild cat species around, even endangered ones ! Thanks for sharing, Patrick

Very cute capture Mark,
The details are nice, clear and sharp.
Good colours, lighting and exposure. Well composed, well framed and good notes.
Thanks for posting, enjoy the rest of the week.

  • Great 
  • aido Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor [C: 1044 W: 156 N: 1218] (4046)
  • [2006-08-16 19:25]

Hi Mark,
A beautiful little creature, he looks like a house cat made up for an appearance in Star Trek :-) Excellent clear shot, great detail, especially so in the eyes. Perfect exposure, great DOF. I think it's a cracking result for ISO 400 and 1/30 shutter speed, excellent camera work.

Hello Mark,
I just love the look of the Sand Cat and would never know it existed if it weren't for TN. Detail, framing and colors are excellent. I love the look he's giving you. It's just to cute.
TFS Janice

Lovely Sand Cat!A very nice portrait, Mark!
Best regards

  • Great 
  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2006-08-17 3:14]

What an amazing feline, Mark.
A new species for me. Thanks for the introduction.
He is beautiful. Those eyes are striking,
and the head is very big in comparison.
Very interesting. An excellent shot.
TFS. : )

  • Great 
  • horia Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2158 W: 224 N: 4749] (16656)
  • [2006-08-17 3:55]

Hi Mark

What a beautiful portrait of this interesting animal! He really has quite a set of ears :))
Super POV, great eye contact, very good sharp details, nice light and colors. Also great framing and an interesting note.

Bravo and TFS

Hi Mark,
What a gorgeous photo and of superb quality. The details and colors are beautiful. Great use of the light and excellent work on the DOF.

Very cute feline it looks like a Ferengi, from Star Trek. Great portrait with excellent details and color. :)

Hello Mark, excllent colors, Bg, POv DOF perfect details, very crisp, excllent worl, TFs Kyle

  • Great 
  • Glint Silver Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 36 W: 0 N: 51] (315)
  • [2006-08-17 9:03]

Hello Mark,
delightful cat and delightful image. You done good!
Marwell zoo eh? my husband loves the snow leapords there. The last time we were in Hampshire he made a special trip to see a liiter. He was entranced.

Hello Mark,
Excellent results..especially under the conditions you encountered. Razor sharp eyes and face, excellent detail, color and light. Nice portrait work :)
Very well done.

  • Great 
  • Hil Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 696 W: 13 N: 1407] (5035)
  • [2006-08-17 18:05]

Hi Mark

What a cute Kitty, the colours are really nice and the detail is great, the lighting is spot on, you would never guess that it was taken through glass and in dim light. Well Done.

Regards Hilary :)

Stunning portriat. Love this cat and would like to see it for myself one day. Great capture. I added it to a them of mine hope you don't mind.

This is fantastic portrait. Perfect exposure and sharpness. Very clear and nice.

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