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Caracal (Caracal caracal), which is also called steppe or desert lynx, in fact, nothing to do with the lynx has no family, although earlier predator mistakenly attributed it to him because of the similar appearance.
Distributed this cat is for the most part of Africa except the Sahara, as well as central and south-western Asia. In North Africa view almost completely disappeared, while in Namibia and southern regions of the African continent caracals so much that they are destroyed by local residents as pests. Asian populated area is much less dense.
Earlier caracals distribution area coincides with the area of cheetahs, now same time, they coexist in the same area with other members of the cat – serval.
Lives caracal in a variety of habitats. It can be wood, shrubs, or flat and rocky terrain (climb to a height of 3000 meters above sea level). The favorite habitat is the forest edge, smoothly transitioning into the plain. Compared with the servals, caracals dry conditions tolerate much better, but rare in the desert, as well as in the dense tropical forests. The Asian population is more tolerant of woodlands.
Coat color steppe lynx is very variable in different parts of the area, ranging from brown to almost red. The lower part of the body is light and, like the African golden cat, decorated with lots of small spots. On the muzzle are black marks under his eyes and above them. A unique feature of the caracal are big ears ending with long black tassels (impossible not to see them in the photo). In young individuals brush considerably shorter than in adults.
Also it should be noted unusually developed hind feet cat, with which it can make jumps up to 4.5 meters in length from the spot. Females are significantly inferior in both male sizes in weight or in length. The total length of the body ranges from 62 to 90 cm apart from the tail in 18-34 cm Females weighing 13 kg, males -. 20 kg, which is larger than even the largest domestic cats.
Living caracals alone, except for the breeding season. Each individual zealously protects its territory, the area of which can be from 4 to 60 km for the inhabitants of the African continent, and from 200 to 300 km for the representatives of the Asian species. At the same territory of the males may partly overlap, while females will never tolerate the presence of other relatives on the site.
When the female desert lynx is ready to mate, she lets you know about it by separating males in the urine pheromones. It was also reported that caracals emit a sound like a cough, which serves a sort of mating call. A cat usually mate several times with several cats over 4 days, preferring the larger and more adults young and small candidates.
Mating can take place all year round, but the peak fertility occurs between October and February. It is believed that this is due to the female diet, ie when plenty of food (and in different regions is different this time) in her body “triggered” the breeding program.
Pregnancy in caracals lasts from 68 to 81 days, a litter is from 1 to 6 kittens, on average, 3. they are born under the roots of trees, in caves or abandoned burrows of other animals. Kittens karakalaPervy month female offspring continually moves from place to place in order to protect it from predators. Caring for offspring is fully borne by the cat. By the 15-week period karakalyata already quite independent, but in reality they become independent only in the age of 5-6 months.
By pairing the young caracals ready as early as 7-10 months of age, but there is a hypothesis that successful mating individual must achieve weight 7-9 kg.
Predator is largely nocturnal, although occasionally it is possible to meet him awake during the day. As with other cats, caracal have very well developed hearing, though not like a serval, and vision. Finding their prey with the help of hearing, then go in the course of the vision, for the precise “targeting” and capture.
The diet caracals present only food of animal origin. Basically it hyrax, hares, rodents, antelopes (gerenuk, mountain gazelle Dorcas Gazelle), as well as small monkeys, birds (bustard and some other species) and rare cases of reptile. Unlike other members of the family, this cat can kill prey, exceeding it in size by 2-3 times, and can stand up for her.
Ways of hunting, usually two: the small victim killed by a bite larger stifled. Of course, this is preceded by the pursuit, which is usually quite short – run away from a predator few people can. By the way, thanks to the powerful hind legs and agility, caracal even manages to catch the flying birds that demonstrated in the video below (jumping his dizzying course), and manages to catch several pieces in a single attack.