Stalking the Wild

Learn more about this fascinating cat through the link below, readers:

 

COMMON NAME: Caracal

SCIENTIFIC NAME: Caracal caracal

DIET: Carnivore

SIZE: Two feet to 3.5 feet long

WEIGHT: 25 to 40 pounds

IUCN RED LIST STATUS: ?

Least Concern

CURRENT POPULATION TREND: Unknown

What is a caracal?

This medium-size wildcat roams the savannas, deserts, and forests of much of Africa and parts of the Middle East. Its coat is typically a tawny or reddish gold with a white chin, throat, and underside.

All cats are regal, of course, but the caracal actually seems to have a crown: Its large, pointy ears, tipped with black and tufted, are a trademark of the species.

These extraordinary ears each have over 20 muscles that swivel around like satellite dishes to detect sounds of their prey. The tufts may enhance sound going into their ears or be used to communicate—via twitches and other movements—with other caracals.

Powerful hunters

The fastest of the smaller African wildcats, caracals are supreme hunters. Their sandy-colored coats provide camouflage, and stiff fur cushioning their footpads makes them nearly silent stalkers.

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