Caracal

Caracal Caracal

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Classifacation

  • Domain Eukaria: All organisms in Domain Eukarya have cells with a nucleus. They can be single-celled or multicellular.

  • Kingdom Animalia: All members of Animalia are multicellular. They are also heterotrophs. most are capable of movement.
  • Phylum Chordata: All have a notochord.

    The notochord is a rod that extends most of the length of the body when it is fully developed. Endoskeleton is usually present.
  • Subphylum Vertebrata: A

    ll share a vertebral column, or a chain of bony elements (vertebrae). Movements provided by muscles attached to endoskeleton. Have ventral hart with 2-4 chambers.
  • Class Mammilia: All mammals have hair at some point during their development. It may serve to camouflage predators or prey, or to warn predators of a defensive mechanism. Specialized whiskers have a sensory function, letting an animal know when it is in contact with an object in its environment.
  • Order Carnivora: Contains animals that only eat meat. They have special teeth for cutting.

  • Family Felidae: Contains the cat family. With the exception of the largest cats, most are adept climbers, and many are skilled swimmers.

  • Genus Caracal: Contains the animal Caracal.

  • Species: Caracal caracal


General Description

Caracals have a reddish-brownish coat. Their undersides are white. Their faces have black color around the whiskers, eyes, and down the nose. Their trademark feature is their black-tufted ears. Females are smaller, and typically weigh 13 kg, while males can weigh up to 20 kg. From the head to the base of the tail, the caracal is about 24 to 36 inches. The tail is typically 7 to 13 inches long. Caracals can eat from rodents to something the size of a small antelope. Caracals are typically found in woodlands, thickets, and scrub forest, plains and rocky hills are also common habitats. The caracal is distributed over much of Africa, Central Asia and southwestern Asia. The predators are lions leopards and hyenas.

Physical Adaptations

The caracal has long, muscular legs to jump high and whack birds out of the sky. They have coats that act as camouflage. They have well developed senses of hearing and sight for hunting prey in the dark. They have black-tufted ears to communicate and to show their status.

Behavioral Adaptations

Caracals have a big home range because water is scarce where they live. They usually stalk their prey from a distance, because it is easy to catch up with their powerful legs. They are nocturnal so they can be stealthier. They put their prey under vegetation so no other animal gets to it.

References

Burton, M. (2002). Caracal. In International wildlife encyclopedia (3rd ed.,

Vol. 3, pp. 385-386). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.


Phillips, L. 2009. "Caracal caracal" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed
March 11, 2015 at http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Caracal_caracal/


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