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Caracals are widespread and are present in Africa, the Middle East, and India. The serval and the golden African cat are their closest relatives. Black, tufted ears distinguish a caracal from the majority of wild cats. The caracal’s speed and ability to leap make it an exceptional hunter. Let’s learn some interesting caracal facts for kids today.

Scientific Classification of Caracal

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Suborder:Feliformia
Family:Felidae
Subfamily:Felinae
Genus:Caracal
Species:C. caracal

Caracal Facts for Kids 1-10

1. The caracal’s speed and ability to leap make it an exceptional hunter. Let’s learn some interesting caracal facts for kids today.

2. The caracal is a medium-sized wild cat. Africa, the Middle East, Central Asia, and India are their native habitats.

3. The caracal inhabits woods, savannas, semi-deserts, swampy lowlands, and scrub woodlands. Dry places with limited rainfall and enough cover are preferred.

They are found at elevations as high as 3,000 meters (9,800 ft) above sea level in mountainous ecosystems such as the Ethiopian Highlands.

4. Caracals can live up to twenty years in the wild and thirty years in captivity.

5. The caracal is a slim, medium-sized cat with a small face, canine teeth, tufted ears, and long legs.

6. It measures approximately 40–50 centimeters or16–20 inches at the shoulder; head and body length is measured from the tip of the nose to the tail’s base and ranges from 62 to 91 centimeters or 24 to 36 inches.

Even though the tail is short, it contributes significantly to the total body length. The tail length ranges from 18 to 34 cm or 7 to 13 inches.

7. Males weigh between 12 and 18 kilograms or 26 and 40 pounds, whereas females weigh between 8 and 13 kg or 18–29 pounds.

8. Caracals have coats that vary in color from brown to crimson, which varies among individuals.

Typically, females are lighter than males. Their undersides are white and covered with numerous tiny dots.

9. There are 4.5 cm (1.8 inches) long black tufts of hair on the ears and 2 black stripes that run from the forehead to the nose, a black outline of the mouth, characteristic black facial markings, and white patches encircling the eyes and mouth.

10. Similar to a fingerprint, each caracal’s whiskers are connected in a distinct manner.

Caracal Facts for Kids 11-20

caracal cat sleeping on a jute bag

11. Its muscular hind legs enable it to leap more than 3 meters or 10 feet in the air to capture flying birds.

Even in flight, it can twist and change direction. In addition, it is a terrific climber.

12. It stalks its target until it is within 5 meters (16 feet), at which point it can dash away.

It kills its target by biting them in the throat or the nape of the neck.

13. The caracal’s top speed is approximately 80 kilometers per hour (50 mph).

14. The caracal is a carnivore that primarily preys on small mammals, birds, and rodents.

15. Caracals typically consume hyraxes, hares, mice, and gerbils.

However, they are known to kill huge animals, including gazelles, springboks, reedbucks, blackbucks, impalas, and kudus, as well as wild sheep and goats.

16. If they are unable to swallow the entire animal at once, they hide it and return to it at a later time, occasionally transporting the carcass into a tree to keep it secure.

17. Caracals are able to meet their water needs during periods of drought by consuming the fluids of their prey.

18. It may occasionally scavenge, though this has not been spotted frequently.

19. The caracal frequently faces competition for prey from foxes, wolves, leopards, and hyaena.

20. Even though they are generally nocturnal, caracals sometimes be observed during the day, particularly in undeveloped locations.

Caracal Facts for Kids 21-30

a caracal cat looking at something

21. They are likely solitary and territorial, though this may vary depending on the environment, locality, breeding season, or when females are accompanied by kittens.

22. Similar to other cats, caracals purr when they are content and produce a range of sounds or vocalizations to communicate their mood.

23. Caracals have smell glands between their toes and on their face, which they use to communicate through smell.

24. In addition, caracals can simultaneously sharpen their claws on a tree and visually and olfactorily mark their territory.

25. Breeding occurs throughout the entire year. Following approximately two to three months of gestation, a litter of one to six kittens is born.

Mother caracals construct their dens in abandoned porcupine or aardvark burrows or previously occupied dens. The kittens are born tiny, helpless, and with their eyes closed.

The eyes open in approximately 10 days, and kittens begin eating meat between 1 and 2 months of age.

They are now able to scamper around and follow their mother to acquire hunting techniques and self-sufficiency.

Permanent teeth appear at four and five months of age, although they do not emerge until approximately one year of age.

26. The International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources lists the caracal as a species of Least Concern (IUCN).

27. The term “caracal” is derived from the Turkish word for “black-eared.”

28. The caracal had sacred significance in ancient Egypt. It appears in paintings and bronze figurines; it was believed that statues guarded the graves of pharaohs.

Additionally, mummified caracals have been unearthed. In some tombs, caracal ear tufts are artistically depicted and referred to as umm risha’t (“mother of feathers”).

29. Due to the caracal’s remarkable jumping abilities, it was historically trained to hunt game birds for Indian and Persian royalty.

30. Chinese emperors gave caracals as gifts. Yuan dynasty kings purchased several caracals, cheetahs, and tigers from Muslim traders in the western areas of the empire in exchange for gold, silver, cash, and silk throughout the 13th and 14th centuries.

The Caracal was utilized by Indian rulers to hunt small wildlife until the 20th century, while the cheetah was used to hunt bigger animals.

Sources: 1, 2

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