The caracal /ˈkærəkæl/ (Caracal caracal) is a medium-sized wild cat native to Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and India. It is characterised by a robust build, long legs, a short face, long tufted ears, and long canine teeth. Its coat is uniformly reddish tan or sandy, while the ventral parts are lighter with small reddish markings. It reaches 40–50 cm (16–20 in) at the shoulder and weighs 8–18 kg (18–40 lb). It was first scientifically described by German naturalist Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1776. Three subspecies are recognised since 2017.
Typically nocturnal, the caracal is highly secretive and difficult to observe. It is territorial, and lives mainly alone or in pairs. The caracal is a carnivore that typically preys upon small mammals, birds, and rodents. It can leap higher than 12 ft (3.7 m) and catch birds in midair. It stalks its prey until it is within 5 m (16 ft) of it, after which it runs it down, the prey being killed by a bite to the throat or to the back of the neck. Breeding takes place throughout the year, with both sexes becoming sexually mature by the time they are a year old. Gestation lasts between two and three months, resulting in a litter of one to six kittens. Juveniles leave their mothers at nine to ten months, though a few females stay back with their mothers. The average lifespan of the caracal in captivity is nearly 16 years.
|Distribution of Caracal|
Felis caracal was the scientific name used by Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1776 who described a cheetah skin from the Cape of Good Hope. In 1843, British zoologist John Edward Gray placed it in the genus Caracal. It is placed in the family Felidae and subfamily Felinae.
Results of phylogenetic studies indicated that the caracal evolved nearly a million years before the lynx. It is most closely related to the African golden cat (Caracal aurata). These two species together with the serval (Leptailurus serval) form the Caracal lineage, which evolved 8.5 million years ago (Mya). The ancestor of this lineage arrived in Africa 8.5–5.6 Mya. It diverged from the serval probably within the last five million years, between the Pliocene and the Pleistocene.
The name "caracal" is composed of two Turkic words: kara, meaning black, and kulak, meaning ear. The first recorded use of this name dates back to 1760. An alternative name for the caracal is Persian lynx. The "lynx" of the Greeks and Romans was most probably the caracal and the name "lynx" is sometimes still applied to it, but the present-day lynx proper is a separate species.
The caracal is a slender, moderately sized cat characterised by a robust build, a short face, long canine teeth, tufted ears, and long legs. It reaches nearly 40–50 cm (16–20 in) at the shoulder; the head-and-body length is typically 78 cm (31 in) for males and 73 cm (29 in) for females. While males weigh 12–18 kg (26–40 lb), females weigh 8–13 kg (18–29 lb). The tan, bushy tail measures 26–34 cm (10–13 in), and extends to the hocks. The caracal is sexually dimorphic; the females are smaller than the males in most bodily parameters.
The prominent facial features include the 4.5-cm-long black tufts on the ears, two black stripes from the forehead to the nose, the black outline of the mouth, the distinctive black facial markings, and the white patches surrounding the eyes and the mouth. The eyes appear to be narrowly open due to the lowered upper eyelid, probably an adaptation to shield the eyes from the sun's glare. The ear tufts may start drooping as the animal ages. The coat is uniformly reddish tan or sandy, though black caracals are also known. The underbelly and the insides of the legs are lighter, often with small reddish markings. The fur, soft, short, and dense, grows coarser in the summer. The ground hairs (the basal layer of hair covering the coat) are denser in winter than in summer. The length of the guard hairs (the hair extending above the ground hairs) can be up to 3 cm (1.2 in) long in winter, but shorten to 2 cm (0.8 in) in summer. These features indicate the onset of moulting in the hot season, typically in October and November. The hind legs are longer than the fore legs, so the body appears to be sloping downward from the rump.
Caracals possess distinctive black markings on their faces, and some individuals may have pronounced 'eyebrow' markings.
The caracal is often confused with the lynx, as both cats have tufted ears. However, a notable point of difference between the two is that the lynx is spotted and blotched, while the caracal shows no such markings on the coat. The African golden cat has a similar build as the caracal's, but is darker and lacks the ear tufts. The sympatric serval can be distinguished from the caracal by the former's lack of ear tufts, white spots behind the ears, spotted coat, longer legs, longer tail, and smaller footprints.
The skull of the caracal is high and rounded, featuring large auditory bullae, a well-developed supraoccipital crest normal to the sagittal crest, and a strong lower jaw. The caracal has a total of 30 teeth; the dental formula is 184.108.40.206. The deciduous dentition is 3.1.2. The striking canines are up to 2 cm (0.8 in) long, heavy, and sharp; these are used to give the killing bite to the prey. The caracal lacks the second upper premolars, and the upper molars are diminutive. The large paws, similar to those of the cheetah, consist of four digits in the hind legs and five in the fore legs. The first digit of the fore leg remains above the ground and features the dewclaw. The claws, sharp and retractable (able to be drawn in), are larger but less curved in the hind legs.
In Africa, the caracal is widely distributed south of the Sahara, but considered rare in North Africa. In Asia, it occurs from the Arabian Peninsula, Middle East, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan to western India. It inhabits forests, savannas, marshy lowlands, semideserts, and scrub forests, but prefers dry areas with low rainfall and availability of cover. In montane habitats such as the Ethiopian Highlands, it occurs up to an altitude of 3,000 m (9,800 ft).
The caracal is typically nocturnal (active at night), though some activity may be observed during the day as well. However, the cat is so secretive and difficult to observe that its activity at daytime might easily go unnoticed. A study in South Africa showed that caracals are most active when air temperature drops below 20 °C (68 °F); activity typically ceases at higher temperatures. A solitary cat, the caracal mainly occurs alone or in pairs; the only groups seen are of mothers with their offspring. Females in oestrus temporarily pair with males. A territorial animal, the caracal marks rocks and vegetation in its territory with urine and probably with dung, which is not covered with soil. Claw scratching is prominent, and dung middens are typically not formed. In Israel, males are found to have territories averaging 220 km2 (85 sq mi), while that of females averaged 57 km2 (22 sq mi). The male territories vary from 270–1,116 km2 (104–431 sq mi) in Saudi Arabia. In Mountain Zebra National Park (South Africa), the female territories vary between 4.0 and 6.5 km2 (1.5 and 2.5 sq mi). These territories overlap extensively. The conspicuous ear tufts and the facial markings often serve as a method of visual communication; caracals have been observed interacting with each other by moving the head from side to side so that the tufts flicker rapidly. Like other cats, the caracal meows, growls, hisses, spits, and purrs.
A carnivore, the caracal typically preys upon small mammals, birds, and rodents. Studies in South Africa have reported that it preys on the Cape grysbok, the common duiker, sheep, goats, bush vlei rats, rock hyraxes, hares, and birds. A study in western India showed that rodents comprise a significant portion of the diet. They will feed from a variety of sources, but tend to focus on the most abundant one. Grasses and grapes are taken occasionally to clear their immune system and stomach of any parasites. Larger antelopes such as young kudu, bushbuck, impala, mountain reedbuck, and springbok may also be targeted. Mammals generally comprise at least 80% of the diet. Lizards, snakes, and insects are infrequently eaten. They are notorious for attacking livestock, but rarely attack humans.
Its speed and agility make it an efficient hunter, able to take down prey two to three times its size. The powerful hind legs allow it to leap more than 3 m (10 ft) in the air to catch birds on the wing. It can even twist and change its direction mid-air. It is an adroit climber. It stalks its prey until it is within 5 m (16 ft), following which it can launch into a sprint. While large prey such as antelopes are suffocated by a throat bite, smaller prey are killed by a bite on the back of the neck. Kills are consumed immediately, and less commonly dragged to cover. It returns to large kills if undisturbed. It has been observed to begin feeding on antelope kills at the hind parts. It may scavenge at times, though this has not been frequently observed. It often has to compete with foxes, wolves, leopards, and hyaena for prey.
Both sexes become sexually mature by the time they are a year old; production of gametes begins even earlier at seven to ten months. However, successful mating takes place only at 12 to 15 months. Breeding takes place throughout the year. Oestrus, one to three days long, recurs every two weeks unless the female is pregnant. Females in oestrus show a spike in urine-marking, and form temporary pairs with males. Mating has not been extensively studied; limited number of observations suggest that copulation, that lasts nearly four minutes on an average, begins with the male smelling the areas urine-marked by the female, which rolls on the ground. Following this, he approaches and mounts the female. The pair separates after copulation.
Gestation lasts about two to three months, following which a litter consisting of one to six kittens is born. Births generally peak from October to February. Births take place in dense vegetation or deserted burrows of aardvarks and porcupines. Kittens are born with their eyes and ears shut and the claws not retractable (unable to be drawn inside); the coat resembles that of adults, but the abdomen is spotted. Eyes open by ten days, but it takes longer for the vision to become normal. The ears become erect and the claws become retractable by the third or the fourth week. Around the same time, the kittens start roaming their birthplace, and start playing among themselves by the fifth or the sixth week. They begin taking solid food around the same time; they have to wait for nearly three months before they make their first kill. As the kittens start moving about by themselves, the mother starts shifting them everyday. All the milk teeth appear in 50 days, and permanent dentition is completed in 10 months. Juveniles begin dispersing at nine to ten months, though a few females stay back with their mothers. The average lifespan of the caracal in captivity is nearly 16 years.
The caracal is listed as Least Concern on the IUCN Red List since 2002, as it is widely distributed in over 50 range countries, where the threats to caracal populations vary in extent. Habitat loss due to agricultural expansion, building of roads and settlements is a major threat in all range countries. It is thought to be close to extinction in North Africa, Critically Endangered in Pakistan, Endangered in Jordan, but stable in central and Southern Africa. Local people kill caracal to protect livestock, or in retaliation for its preying on small livestock. Additionally, it is threatened by hunting for the pet trade on the Arabian Peninsula. In Turkey and Iran, caracals are frequently killed in road accidents.
African caracal populations are listed under CITES Appendix II, while Asian populations come under CITES Appendix I. Hunting of caracal is prohibited in Afghanistan, Algeria, Egypt, India, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Kazakhstan, Lebanon, Morocco, Pakistan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tunisia, Turkey, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan. In Namibia and South Africa, it is considered a "problem animal", and its hunting is allowed for protecting livestock. Caracals occur in a number of protected areas across their range.
Chinese emperors used caracals as gifts. In the 13th and the 14th centuries, Yuan dynasty rulers bought numerous caracals, cheetahs, and tigers from Muslim merchants in the western parts of the empire in return for gold, silver, cash, and silk. According to the Ming Shilu, the subsequent Ming dynasty continued this practice. Until as recently as the 20th century, the caracal was used in hunts by Indian rulers to hunt small game, while the cheetah was used for larger game. In those times, caracals were exposed to a flock of pigeons and people would bet on which caracal would kill the largest number of pigeons. This probably gave rise to the expression "to put the cat among the pigeons".
The caracal appears to have been religiously significant in the Egyptian culture, as it occurs in paintings and as bronze figurines; sculptures were believed to guard the tombs of pharaohs. Embalmed caracals have also been discovered. Its pelt was used for making fur coats.
The African golden cat (Caracal aurata) is a wild cat endemic to the rainforests of West and Central Africa. It is threatened due to deforestation and bushmeat hunting and listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List.It is a close relative of both the caracal and the serval. Previously, it was placed in the genus Profelis.Its body size ranges from 61 to 101 cm (24 to 40 in) with a 16 to 46 cm (6.3 to 18.1 in) long tail.Arabah
The Arabah (Arabic: وادي عربة, Wādī ʻAraba), or Arava / Aravah (Hebrew: הָעֲרָבָה, HaAravah, lit. "desolate and dry area"), as it is known by its respective Arabic and Hebrew names, is a geographic area south of the Dead Sea basin, which forms part of the border between Israel to the west and Jordan to the east.
The old meaning, which was in use up to the early 20th century, covered almost the entire length of what today is called the Jordan Rift Valley, running in a north-south orientation between the southern end of the Sea of Galilee and the northern tip of the Gulf of Aqaba at Aqaba/ Eilat. This included the Jordan River Valley between the Sea of Galilee and the Dead Sea, the Dead Sea itself, and what today is commonly called the Arava Valley. The contemporary use of the term is restricted to this southern section alone.Caracal, Romania
Caracal (Romanian pronunciation: [kaˈrakal] (listen)) is a city in Olt county, Romania, situated in the historic region of Oltenia, on the plains between the lower reaches of the Jiu and Olt rivers. The region's plains are well known for their agricultural specialty in cultivating grains and over the centuries, Caracal has been the trading center for the region's agricultural output. Caracal has a population of approximately 31,000 and is the second largest city in the region.Caracal (album)
Caracal is the second studio album by English electronic music duo Disclosure. It was released on 25 September 2015 by PMR Records and Island Records. Five official singles have been released from the album: "Holding On", "Omen", "Jaded", "Magnets" and "Nocturnal", with three promotional singles also being released: "Bang That", "Willing and Able" and "Hourglass".
Caracal was nominated for Best Dance/Electronic Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards.Caracal (genus)
Caracal is a genus of the subfamily Felinae in the family Felidae. Previously, it was considered to be a monotypic genus, consisting of only the type species: Caracal caracal, commonly called caracal.
Genetic analysis has shown that caracal, African golden cat and serval are genetically closely related and diverged from a common ancestor about 5.4 million years ago. Therefore, it has been suggested to subordinate all of them to the genus Caracal. This taxonomic classification is used in the IUCN Red List for the African golden cat. It is used as a synonym for the serval.Caracal Battalion
The 33rd "Caracal" Battalion (Hebrew: גדוד קרקל) is an infantry combat battalion of the Israel Defense Forces, one of the three fully combat units (alongside the 'Lions of Jordan Battalion' and the 'Cheetah Battalion') in the Israeli military that is composed of both male and female soldiers. It is named after the Caracal, a small cat whose sexes appear the same. As of 2009, approximately 70% of the battalion was female.Caracal pistol
The Caracal pistol is a series of semi-automatic pistols manufactured by Caracal International L.L.C. a subsidiary of Tawazun Holding from the United Arab Emirates. The Caracal pistol series are the first pistols made in the United Arab Emirates and is the primary service issued pistol used by the United Arab Emirates Armed Forces.Caraval
The caraval (also called a cara-serval) is the cross between a male caracal and a female serval. They have a spotted pattern similar to the Serval, but on a darker background. These are bred for the pet market.
A servical is the cross between a male serval and a female caracal. A litter of servicals occurred by accident when the two animals were kept in the same enclosure at a Los Angeles zoo. The hybrids were given to an animal shelter. The only photos show them as tawny kittens.
These hybrids can theoretically be backcrossed to their parent species in various ways:
Ser-caraval (¾ serval, ¼ caracal) - a cross between a male serval and a female caraval.
Car-servical (¾ caracal, ¼ serval) - a cross between a male caracal and a servical.
Ser-servicals (¾ serval, ¼ caracal) - a male serval and a female servical.
Car-caravals (¾ caracal, ¼ serval) - a male caracal and female caraval.Currently, only ser-caravals have been documented. All of these hybrids will more closely resemble the species that contributed the greater fraction of their genes.Disclosure (band)
Disclosure are an English electronic music duo consisting of brothers Howard (born 11 May 1994) and Guy Lawrence (born 25 May 1991). The siblings grew up in Reigate, Surrey. Their debut studio album, Settle, released on 3 June 2013, by PMR Records, was nominated for Best Dance/Electronica Album at the 2014 Grammy Awards. They released a second studio album, Caracal, on 25 September 2015 which was also nominated for Best Dance/Electronica Album at the 2016 Grammy Awards.Eurocopter EC725
The Eurocopter EC725 Caracal, now called Airbus Helicopters H225M, is a long-range tactical transport military helicopter developed from the Eurocopter AS532 Cougar for military use. It is a twin-engined aircraft and can carry up to 29 seated troops along with two crew, depending on customer configuration. The helicopter is marketed for troop transport, casualty evacuation, and combat search and rescue duties, and is similar to the civilian EC225.FC Caracal (2004)
FC Caracal was a Romanian professional football club from Caracal, Olt County, Romania.
Not to be confused with the old clubs that existed in the past in Caracal also named FC Caracal or FCM Caracal.Faranak
Farānak (Persian: فَرانَک) is a female character in the Persian epic Shahnameh. She is the wife of Abtin and the mother of Fereydun.
Farânak is derived from the word Parvâneh, which means butterfly in Persian. Like many other words and names in Persian, the letter P was transformed to F in postarabic period, as the letter P does not exist in Arabic. Parvânak, meaning the little butterfly, is another name for the Persian lynx or caracal, also called siâh-goosh سیاهگوش, which means blackeared in Persian. Both the name siâh-goosh (blackeared) and parvânak (little butterfly) refer to the pointy long black ears of the Persian lynx that look like butterflies. The Persian lynx or caracal accompanies the lion as the lion is a strong hunter and often leaves some food for the lynx which is a much smaller cat. In return, the lynx has a much stronger sense of smell and can lead the lion to the prey.
Farânak as a female name was first documented in Shâhnameh شاهنامه, for the character who was the wife of the good man Abtin (Aubteen) آبتین , and the mother of the character Fereydun فریدون, a great hero who later became a king. The name for the character Farânak, who stood by these strong men, may have created and inspired by the story of the relationship between the Persian lynx and the lion; she who walks in front of the lions.Felinae
The Felinae is a subfamily of the family Felidae that comprises the small cats that have a bony hyoid, because of which they are able to purr but not roar.Other authors proposed an alternative definition for this subfamily: as comprising only the living conical-toothed cat genera with two tribes, the Felini and Pantherini; thus excluding all fossil cat species.Gheorghe Argeșanu
Gheorghe Argeşanu (28 February 1883 – 26/27 November 1940) was a Romanian cavalry general and politician who served as a Prime Minister of Romania for about a week in 1939 (21 September-28 September).List of utility helicopters
This is a list of utility helicopters
Aérospatiale SA 360 Dauphin
Bell Huey familyUH-1 Iroquois
Bell UH-1N Twin Huey
Mil Mi-8 Mil Mi-17
SA 330 Puma
Eurocopter AS532 Cougar
Eurocopter EC725 Caracal
KAI KUH-1 Surion
Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawk
Westland LynxPlasan Sand Cat
The SandCat (Hebrew: פלסן קרקל) is a composite armored vehicle designed by the then Plasan Sasa (now Plasan) of Israel. The SandCat, which is presented as a single bi-capitalised word, was shown publicly for the first time at AUSA during October 2005. The latest models were shown for the first time at Eurosatory 2018. The SandCat is based on a commercial Ford F-Series chassis. Approximately 700 SandCats have been produced since 2004, and while Plasan has never released complete details, these are known to be in service with at least 16 users across five continents, and in a wide variety of roles that range from Police/internal security to combat/patrol.Serval
The serval (Leptailurus serval) is a wild cat native to Africa. It is rare in North Africa and the Sahel, but widespread in sub-Saharan countries except rainforest regions. On the IUCN Red List it is listed as Least Concern.It is the sole member of the genus Leptailurus and was first described by German naturalist Johann von Schreber in 1776. Three subspecies are recognised. The serval is a slender, medium-sized cat that stands 54–62 cm (21–24 in) at the shoulder and weighs 9–18 kg (20–40 lb). It is characterised by a small head, large ears, a golden-yellow to buff coat spotted and striped with black, and a short, black-tipped tail. The serval has the longest legs of any cat relative to its body size.
Active in the day as well as at night, servals tend to be solitary with minimal social interaction. Both sexes establish highly overlapping home ranges of 10 to 32 km2 (4–12 sq mi), and mark them with feces and saliva. Servals are carnivores – they prey on rodents (particularly vlei rats), small birds, frogs, insects, and reptiles. The serval uses its sense of hearing to locate the prey; to kill small prey, it leaps over 2 m (6 ft 7 in) above the ground to land on the prey on its forefeet, and finally kills it with a bite on the neck or the head. Mating takes place at different times of the year in different parts of their range, but typically once or twice a year in an area. After a gestational period of two to three months, a litter of one to four is born. Weaning occurs at one month, and kittens begin hunting on their own at six months. The juveniles leave their mother at 12 months.
The serval prefers areas with cover such as reeds and tall grasses and proximity to water bodies, such as wetlands and savannahs. It occurs in protected areas across its range, and hunting of servals is either prohibited or regulated in several countries.Stadionul Parc (Caracal)
Parc Stadium is a multi-use stadium in Caracal, Olt county, Romania. It is currently used mostly for football matches, and is the home ground of FC Caracal. The stadium holds 12,000 people.Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve
The Yotvata Hai-Bar Nature Reserve is a 3,000-acre (12 km2) breeding and reacclimation center administered by the Israel Nature Reserves & National Parks Authority, situated in the Southern Arabah near Yotvata.
The Yotvata Hai-Bar is the desert counterpart of the Carmel Hai-Bar Nature Reserve which operates in the country's Northern Mediterranean forest.
Endangered and locally extinct animals mentioned in the Bible are bred here for possible reintroduction to the Negev desert. The Asian wild ass has already been reintroduced in the Makhtesh Ramon into the wild. In addition the park has some rare desert animals, which are not native to Israel, like the scimitar oryx and the Red-necked ostrich from northern Africa.
Some of the species bred here are:
Arabian oryx (Oryx leucoryx)
Scimitar oryx (Oryx dammah)
Red-necked ostrich (Struthio camelus camelus)
Addax (Addax nasomaculatus)
Asian wild ass (hybrids of Equus hemionus kulan and Equus hemionus onager)
Somali wild ass (Equus africanus somaliensis)
Caracal (Caracal caracal schmitzi)
Arabian sand cat (Felis margarita harrisoni)
Arabian leopard (Panthera pardus nimr)
South African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus)
Arabian wolf (Canis lupus arabs)
Dorcas gazelle (Gazella dorcas)
Griffon vulture (Gyps fulvus)
Nubian ibex (Capra nubiana)
Persian leopard (Panthera pardus ciscaucasica)
Striped hyena (Hyaena hyaena)
Extant Carnivora species