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Caracal

Caracal caracal

Description:

Sometimes called "African lynx" or "desert lynx", these tufted-eared cats are about three feet long, with a tail about a foot long, and reddish brown fur, except for a white chin, throat, and belly, and a black line running from each eye to the nose.

Home Range:

Northern Africa, the Arabian peninsula, and southwestern Asia

Habitat:

Woodlands, savanna, and scrub forest

Diet:

Caracals are strict carnivores, hunting rodents, birds, and small deer.

Reproduction:

Litter of one to six young, with an average of three.

Social Structure:

Active at night; solitary or paired.

Life Span

In the wild, caracals live for about 12 years. In captivity, they may live up to 17 years.

Fun Fact

Caracals' ears are each controlled by about 20 muscles to help these hunters better determine where prey is hiding. The tufts of fur offer an added advantage in pinpointing prey.