Sunday, April 10, 2011


Phylum : Chordata
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."

Caracals have never been domesticated, but they have been tamed. In Iran and India, young Caracals were taught to hunt alongside humans, and respond to commands. Cheetahs have also taken on similar roles.

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.


  1. Another new animal for me to learn about. Before you are through with me, I will know a little something about the animals of the world.

  2. I had never heard of these guys until a random Google search prompted me towards writing an article yesterday. And then not 5 hours later I stumbled upon one at a zoo!


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