Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
A group of animals within a family
The name of the animal in science
The animal group that the species belongs to
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|65cm - 90cm (2ft - 3ft)|
The measurement of how heavy the animal is
|11kg - 18kg (24lbs - 40lbs)|
The fastest recorded speed of the animal
How long the animal lives for
|12 - 15 years|
Whether the animal is solitary or sociable
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Tan, Brown, Black|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Dry woodland and savannah|
|Average Litter Size:|
The average number of babies born at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Hares, Mice, Antelope|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Human, Hyena, Lions|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Long, black ear tufts and short fur|
Map of Africa
The caracal is also commonly known as the Persian Lynx or African Lynx despite the fact that the caracal is not a lynx at all. The caracal is thought to be most closely related to the African golden cat and the serval.
The caracal's name is believed to come from the Turkish word Karakulak, which means black ears. The caracal typically has 20 different muscles in the caracal's ears which enables the caracal to detect prey.
The caracal is a medium-sized cat however, with the caracal, its size appears to make little difference on what the caracal hunts. Scientists have found dead ostriches with caracal tooth-marks in them, meaning that the caracal is fast enough to outrun and catch an ostrich, and strong enough to overpower it and kill it.
The caracal has also been known to leap up into the air to successfully catch and kill flying birds. The caracals are excellent acrobats and can land safely.
The caracal is normally dark red, grey, or golden sand in colour and as the caracal's name suggests, the caracal's ears are black, with tufts. Young caracals bear reddish spots on the underbelly that disappear when they grow up.
The caracal mainly hunts rodents, birds (including ostriches), antelopes, gazelles, and rabbits. The caracal tends to avoid eating very stiff fur by neatly shearing it off with their claws, but they are tolerant of feathers.
The caracal can live up to around 12 years in the wild, with some adult caracals living to 17 years old in captivity. The caracal is found in Africa and Southwest Asia, where the caracal prefers grasslands (savannas and tropical grasslands), and deserts.
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First Published: 30th December 2008, Last Updated: 8th November 2019
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2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
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4. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 30 Dec 2008]
5. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2009]
6. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 30 Dec 2008]