Young sub adult Caracal (Felis caracal) in a tree in South Africa, Kruger Park. By Stuart G Porter | Shutterstock.com
Young sub adult Caracal (Felis caracal) in a tree in South Africa, Kruger Park. By Stuart G Porter | Shutterstock.com

About caracals.

It is a nocturnal animal that hunts after sunset and prefers to hide among rocks during the day.


They have large ears with lots of mobility. They can flip them towards any direction to determine where a sound comes from, wether to locate prey or to detect danger.


Caracals are also known as the African lynx because of their similarities, but they are not related genetically. This animal’s closest relative is the serval, another African feline.


The name “caracal” comes from the word “karakulak”, which means “black ears”.


Caracals can jump up to 3m vertically, which allows them to catch prey even when they have already started to fly away.


Each female can have up to six cubs per litter, but they usually have three.


These cats usually attack animals smaller than them in size, mainly birds, even though they can occasionally attack larger ones. When this happens, they sometimes hide the bodies in tree hollows to be able to eat them at a later time.


There are eight caracal subspecies, depending on where they live.


They are territorial animals that live alone or in pairs.


It is one of the fastest animals on earth given its size.


These animals can also kill big snakes with surprising agility if they feel intimidated by them.


These animals were already domesticated in the ancient Egypt, where they were used for hunting because of their great abilities and easy adaptation to humans.

Caracal walking down tree in afternoon sun South Africa. By Stuart G Porter | Shutterstock.com
Caracal walking down tree in afternoon sun South Africa. By Stuart G Porter | Shutterstock.com
COMMON NAMECONSERVATION STATUS
CaracalLeast concern
SCIENTIFIC NAMESIZE
Caracal Caracal40 – 50 cm (16 – 20 in)
FAMILYWEIGHT
Felidae8 – 18 kg (18 – 40 lb)
ORDERLIFESPAN
Carnivora12 – 20 years
CLASSGESTATION PERIOD
Mammalia68 – 81 days
POPULATIONDIET
UnknownThey are carnivores that feed on small prey, especially birds, hares, rodents, dassies, little monkeys and antelope calves.
HABITATRANGE
Savannah, forest, semi-desert and marshy lowlands.Africa, Middle East and the Indian subcontinent.

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