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Caracal
Caracal.jpg
Caracal caracal
(Schreber, 1776)
Information
Range

Africa, Middle East, Central and South Asia

Estimated
Population

Least Concern

Scientific Classification
Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Chordata

Class

Mammalia

Order

Carnivora

Family

Felidae

Genus

Caracal

Species

C. caracal

Conservation Status
(IUCN 3.1)
LCSpecies.png
Least Concern

Caracals (Caracal caracal) are medium-sized wild cats native to Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and India. It is listed a least concern on the IUCN Red List.[1]

Characteristics

Caracals are characterized by a robust build, long legs, a short face, long tufted ears, and long canine teeth. Its coat is uniformly reddish tan or sandy, while the ventral parts are lighter with small reddish markings. It reaches 40–50 cm (16–20 in) at the shoulder and weighs 8–18 kg (18–40 lb). It was first scientifically described by German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1776. Three subspecies are recognized since 2017.

Caracals have strong legs good for jumping, they can jump 10 feet high. Typically nocturnal, the caracal is highly secretive and difficult to observe. It is territorial, and lives mainly alone or in pairs. The caracal is a carnivore that typically preys upon small mammals, birds, and rodents. It can leap higher than 3 m (9.8 ft) and catch birds in midair. It stalks its prey until it is within 5 m (16 ft) of it, after which it runs it down, the prey being killed by a bite to the throat or to the back of the neck.

References

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