Class : Mammalia
Order : Carnivora
Family : Felidae
Genus : Caracal
Species : C. caracal
Height : 18in (46cm)
Weight : Males up to 40lbs (18kg), Females up to 25lbs (11kg)
IUCN Status : Least Concern
Caracals are small, reddish-brown cats found in dry scrub and grassland areas of Africa and Asia. They are named for the Turkish word "Karahkulak," which means "Black Ear." This Moniker refers to their long, black, tasseled ears. It's still debated what those tassels are for, but they might help the Caracals to hear prey better, or to communicate with one another.
There is still some debate about where exactly Caracals should go in the cat family tree. They were long considered close relatives of the Lynxes, due to the eat tufts, but there are now some who think they are closer to Servals. Caracals are still sometimes called "Desert Lynxes."
Birds watch out! Caracals are excellent hunters, and can jump as high as 10 ft (3m) in the air in order to bring down their prey. The aforementioned tamed Caracals would be used in contests to see how many birds the cats could take down in a single try. 10 birds at a time was not unheard of.
Overall, Caracals are not a threatened species, though certain localized populations are becoming scarce. They will hunt and kill livestock, which has led to many farmers shooting at them.