The sand cat (Felis margarita) is aptly named -- it lives in the deserts of the northern Sahara, the Middle East, and into Pakistan, and has golden-brown fur that helps it blend in with the sand. The sand cat has very large ears, set low on the sides of its oversized-looking head, and thick pads of hair on the bottoms of its feet (like the black-footed cat farther south) to protect against hot sand. The ears both allow extra heat to radiate away and make the sand cat's hearing extremely sensitive, and their low position allows the cat to peek over rocks without scaring away prey. They eat jerboas, sand voles, hares, birds, insects and reptiles and can get enough water from their food that they don't need to drink much. They are solitary, but have a loud call (sometimes mistaken for the barking of dogs) that carries quite far over the desert, and which they use to find mates.

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