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Prionodon, the sole genus in the the family Prionodontidae, includes just two species, the Banded Linsang (Prionodon linsang) and the Spotted Linsang (P. pardicolor). The linsangs have long been recognized as sharing many similarities with members of the cat family (Felidae) and historically have been treated as comprising a subfamily (Prionodontinae) within the subfamily Viverridae. Recent molecular phylogenetic studies, however, support the treatment of the linsangs as a distinct family that is the sister group to the extant felids (Gaubert and Veron 2003; Gaubert 2009; Eizirik et al. 2010).

Linsangs are found in moist and evergreen forest across much of Southeast Asia, including montane forests up to 2700 meters. They can also be found in patchworks of natural forest and cultivated areas. Their diet is known to include rodents, frogs, lizards, snakes, small birds, cockroaches, and even carrion. At least in captivity, they reportedly reject fruit.  Maximum longevity in captivity is nearly 11 years. They are secretive, largely nocturnal, and at least somewhat arboreal and thus do not frequently encounter humans, although they are sometimes hunted for their fur and are threatened by deforestation. Both linsang species appear to be widely distributed but generally uncommon.

(Gaubert 2009 and references therein)


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