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Caracal caracal


Felidae, the cat family

Conservation Status:

Least concern, IUCN


This cat ranges from central India west through Asia to Israel and Jordan, south into the Arabian Peninsula and the continent of Africa.


Dry habitats: deserts, savannas, acacia scrub, arid steppes and mountains (not found in sand dunes).


Possibly the best bird hunter known! It is an expert jumper, often catches birds by leaping at them to a height up to 10 feet and swats them out of the air with its paws: up to 10 at a time.

There are a few theories for their tufts: used as antennas, keep flies away, as camouflage in tall grass by breaking outline of its head and, most widely accepted, the tufts help them communicate.

A medium-sized cat, sandy brown, no spots or stripes with pointed ears tipped with 2 inch tufts of black hair. Described as “lynx-like” in appearance, with slender body and slim legs, but with a tail much longer than the true lynxes. Shoulder height is 16-17”, head and body 23-42”, tail 9”. Males can weigh up to 40 pounds and females can weigh up to 35 pounds. Like most small cats, they may purr when content and make a variety of mews, growls and hisses.

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