15 Aug '12, 1pm

Do lions purr? Why are there no green mammals? Interesting wildlife questions answered:

Contented lions might if they could, but they can't. Only the smaller cats- - not just house cats, but also bobcats, ocelots, lynxes, cougars and others- - have what it takes to purr. The relevant apparatus is a tightly connected linkage of delicate bones running from the back of the feline tongue up to the base of the skull. When in a purring frame of mind, a cat vibrates its larynx, which in turn sets the twiglike hyoid bones to resonating. No one is sure why cats evolved this ability, but one possibility is that a mother's purr helps camouflage the mewling of her vulnerable nursing kittens, a sound that might otherwise alert and attract predators. All purring cats can make the distinctive sound continuously, both breathing in and breathing out.

Full article: http://www.nwf.org/news-and-magazines/national-wildlife/a...

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