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Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Mammals Around Las Vegas, Wildlife Around Las Vegas
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)

Order Carnivora: Carnivores; Family Procyonidae, Ringtails

Ringtails (Bassariscus astutus), also called "Ring-tailed Cats" and "Miner's Cats," are house-cat sized predators with a fox-like face, a thin body, and a long, bushy raccoon-like tail with black and white bands that do not meet on the underside. The tip of the tail is black.

Ringtails eat anything that doesn't run faster than they do, but their diet mainly consists of grasshoppers, crickets, mice, birds, frogs, fruit, and similar items. At Phantom Ranch in the bottom of the Grand Canyon, the fig tree is a favored place to feed.

Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)

Ringtails tend to live in rocky canyons near water, but they can also be found in dry areas such as dry, rocky hillsides. Ringtail tracks are cat-like, with retractable claws and no heal print (looks like they walk on their toes); however, ringtails have 5 toes.

Ringtails socialize to humans fairly rapidly, and these little predators were often kept as working pets by miners during the gold and silver exploration period in Nevada. Miners used their "cats" to keep mice and rats under control in their cabins and mines. Ringtails, however, tend to avoid humans -- I've never seen one in the wild.

Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) Ringtail scat; notice the small size and folded nature. This is as much as most of us will ever see of a ringtail.
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) Ringtail footprint: notice the five short, somewhat plump toes. Our desert dogs and cats all have four toes, and raccoons have long skinny toes.
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Ringtail in a narrow sandstone canyon in Zion National Park
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Ringtail
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Curious creature investigating a hiker's pack
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Beautiful Ringtail at Red Rock Canyon NCA
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Live animal show - Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Live animal show - Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Live animals show - Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Live animals show - Arizona Sonora Desert Museum
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus) Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Sheep Range, Desert NWR
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Sheep Range, Desert NWR
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Sheep Range, Desert NWR
Ringtail (Bassariscus astutus)
Sheep Range, Desert NWR

Note: All distances, elevations, and other facts are approximate.
copyright; Last updated 170914

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