- Caracal is also a town in Romania; see: Caracal, Romania.
, sometimes Felis caracal
) is a medium-sized wild cat
. It resembles a lynx
and is related to this genus. The length is 65 cm, plus 30 cm tail. It has longer legs and a slimmer appearance. The colour of the fur
is variable: it may be wine-red, grey or sand-coloured. Young caracals bear reddish spots on the underside; adults do not have markings except for black spots above the eyes.
Caracals are distributed over Africa and West Asia. Their habitat is dry steppes and semi-deserts. A caracal may survive without drinking for a long period - the water demand is satisified with the body fluids of the prey. It hunts at night (but in colder seasons also in the daytime) for rodents and hares; rarely it may even attack a gazelle, a small antelope or a young ostrich.
- Caracal caracal caracal, East, Central and South Africa
- Caracal caracal algira, North Africa
- Caracal caracal damarensis, Namibia
- Caracal caracal limpopoensis, Botswana
- Caracal caracal lucani, Gabon
- Caracal caracal michaelis, Turkmenistan (endangered
- Caracal caracal nubicus, Ethiopia, Sudan
- Caracal caracal poecilictis, West Africa
- Caracal caracal schmitzi, West Asia, Arabia, India