Caracal- the opportunistic desert hunter

Baku, May 4, AZERTAC

The fastest of the smaller African wildcats, caracals are supreme hunters.

This medium-size wildcat roams the savannas, deserts, and forests of much of Africa and parts of the Middle East.

Its large, pointy ears, tipped with black and tufted, are a trademark of the species. In fact, the name 'caracal' was proposed by Georges Buffon, a French naturalist and mathematician in 1761 who referred to its Turkish name 'Karrah-kulak' or 'Kara-coulac', meaning 'cat with black ears'.

According to the National Geographic, Caracal’s extraordinary ears each have over 20 muscles that swivel around like satellite dishes to detect sounds of their prey.

Moreover, their sandy-colored coats provide camouflage; with the stiff fur cushioning their footpads, turning them into silent stalkers.

Caracals, as mentioned earlier, are opportunistic predators, going after whatever they can find, including birds, rodents, mongoose, hyraxes, and even small monkeys.

Their strong hind legs allow them to leap up to 10 feet high and grab birds from midair with their thick, hooked claws. Caracals will sometimes climb trees and cache their prey, like leopards.


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