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"CARACAL: [Fr. caracal; Turk. qara qulaq; qara, black, and qulaq , ear.] A Lynx, the Lynx caracal, a native of northern Africa and southwestern Asia. Its color is a uniform reddish-brown; its ears black externally, and tipped with long, black hairs."

-----Webster's New Twentieth Century Unabridged Dictionary, Second Edition

Caracals are small desert cats, also called the Desert Lynx. They range in color from straw colored to grey and cinnamon. They have large ears with feathery tufts at the ends. They have long legs and short tails. They weigh between seventeen and forty pounds. They can run up to forty miles an hour, as they have to outrun larger predators, such as hyenas. They can catch birds in flight, are able to jump nine to twelve feet in the air. Their diet consists of birds, rodents, hares, small antelope and snakes. They are solitary by nature and also nocturnal. They usually have a litter of two or three kittens and make their homes in stolen burrows, rock holes or thick scrub. They do not make many sounds, but they do have a loud bark which is used as a mating call.

They live everywhere in Africa, except the dense jungles, in the Middle East and in Western India on territory once native to the Cheetah.

Big Cats Index


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