ImpurestCheese

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Impurest's Guide to Animals #100 - Caracal

It’s here!! Issue 100 is here at last! Okay so obviously I’m a little overexcited about this, but to get this far, paticulary in an environment not totally suited for animal blogs is amazing. As such I want to thank everyone who reads and comments on these blogs, I couldn’t, wouldn’t have got this far without you.

Many Thanks

Impurest Cheese

___________________________________________________________________

Issue #100 – Caracal

[1]
[1]

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Mamalia

Order – Carnivoria

Family – Felidae

Genus – Caracal

Species – caracal

Related Species – Despite similarities with members of the genus Lynx, the Caracal is only distantly related to these species (1)

Range

[2]
[2]

‘Black Ears’

Caracals are tawny coloured medium sized cats, with an average body length of just over a meter, and a weight of around 15kg. The most distinctive feature of a Caracal are the large black ears and the tufts of hair, which reach a length of 4cm, sprouting out the top. It is these tufts that led to the name Caracal, which comes from the Turkish word karakulak, which translates to black ears (2). It is theorised that these tufts evolved to break up the outline of the cat’s ears while hunting in long grass, with prey presumably being unable to distinguish the ears from the swaying grass around it.

Like all cats, Caracals are obligate carnivores, and hunt a wide range of prey, although they are most famous for their ability to intercept flying birds with its leaping abilities. Despite this success hunting birds during the day is rather low, and as such most Caracals hunt at night, silently ambushing prey while they sleep. Whilst small game is usually taken, Caracals will take prey as large as Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis), juvenile Kudu (Tragelaphus sp) and Ostrich (Struthio camelus), although the latter is only taken during the birds breeding season when the male is incubating his nest.

[3]
[3]

Caracals are solitary throughout their adult lives, coming together only to breed. Gestation takes two to three months, and a litter of one to six kittens are born in a den that the mother will have moved into during her pregnancy. The kittens are weaned within ten weeks of being born, but will generally stay with their mother for a year before leaving to find territories of their own. Predators of the Caracal include leopards (Panthera pardus) and humans (Homo sapiens sapiens) although the latter is in response to the cat’s preference for attacking and killing livestock, despite adequate wild food sources.

Five Fun Caracal Facts

The South African population of the Caracal has a more red fur, leading to the local Afrikaans name Rooikat (Red Cat)

Meanwhile in Swahili, the Caracal goes by the name Simbamangu or Secretive Cat, due to the animal being rarely seen.

The Caracal was one of the many animals considered sacred by the Ancient Egyptians, and was the archetype for the ‘guardian cat’ who protected the tombs of the dead (3)

It wasn’t just the Egyptians who knew of the Caracal’s predatory prowess. The Persians and Historic Indian Rulers kept Caracals as hunting animals, and used them to catch small deer, antelope and birds.

[4]
[4]

Finally the term ‘cat among the pigeons’ refers to an ancient sport where a trained Caracal would be let loose among a flock of birds. Wagers were taken to see how many birds the cat could knock out of mid-air in a single bound, with a well-trained Caracal being able to take a dozen birds in a single leap (4).

Bibliography

1 - www.arkive.org

2 - http://catsforafrica.co.za/main/page_caracal_overview.html

3 - Kingdon, J. (1977). East African Mammals: An Atlas of Evolution in Africa, Volume IIIA: Carnivores. Academic Press, London

4 - http://bigcatrescue.org/caracal-facts/

Picture References

1 - http://cdn2.arkive.org/media/98/98FEDF11-E2CB-449F-9F1D-C8E1BCBB57E0/Presentation.Large/Caracal-side-view.jpg

2 - https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/b/b5/Caracal_distribution.png

3 - http://pixdaus.com/files/items/pics/7/52/299752_fe4f5abc8368fce1002b7b80a18a69a2_large.jpg

4 - https://retrieverman.files.wordpress.com/2012/10/caracal-with-hare.jpeg

Well that’s it 100 issues completed. That isn’t the end though, and while next issue won’t be until next year, I can guarantee that it will begin with a bang (also Issue 101). Until then critic, comment and suggest future issues as well as making sure you check past issues in Impurest’s Bestiary.

Many Thanks and Seasons Greetings

Impurest Cheese

58 Comments

58 Comments

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Cream_God

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It looks like a anime villain lol

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ImpurestCheese

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Edited By ImpurestCheese

@cgoodness: It's also my favourite animal plus IGTAs unofficial mascot. Also how does it look like an anime villain?

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Cream_God

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@cgoodness: It's also my favourite animal plus IGTAs unofficial mascot. Also how does it look like an anime villain?

The pointed ears, reminds me off Foxy from one piece kinda

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ImpurestCheese

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@cgoodness: Never seen it, googling now...I see little simularity

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QuinnoftheStoneAge

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The most beautiful cat <3

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ImpurestCheese

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Edited By ImpurestCheese
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Cream_God

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Ostyo

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Ugly beast! :P

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cbishop

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@impurestcheese: Congratulations on #100, Imp'! I have to go look up Kudu now. :)

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laflux

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@impurestcheese I'm really starting to love medium sized Wild Cats for some reason. Especially the Caracal, Lynx and Clouded Leopard. Just so sleek and stylish.

Great issue, its fitting that one of your fav's makes 100. And congrats on getting so far!!!

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ImpurestCheese

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@cgoodness: I'm just messing with ya, I see those tufty points

@ostyo: You meanie, they are adorable

@cbishop:It's a kind of largeantelope with spiral horns

No Caption Provided

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ImpurestCheese

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@laflux: Thanks, the medium sized cats are really beautiful and carry an air of mystery about them. Really love stuff like Serval, Ocelot and Caracal, even the kind of fugly Pallas Cat. And thanks, without the support of the readers I wouldn't have gotten very far with this

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cbishop

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ImpurestCheese

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@cbishop: Yeah Kudu are pretty cool too, not as cool as the Sable Antelope which actually stands and fights its predators, even killing them in defence at times

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Straight-Fire

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Oh, it's that time of the week again? Cool read as always, and congratz on the 100th issue!

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ImpurestCheese

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Edited By ImpurestCheese

@dboyrules2011: Thanks, and what do you mean that time of the week?

Enquiring minds want to know
Enquiring minds want to know

Am I that predictable?

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deactivated-5c901e667a76c

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I'm guessing it's your favorite animal?

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Straight-Fire

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Edited By Straight-Fire

@impurestcheese:

Anytime, and what I meant by that is time flies by, it seems like it was just Thursday. But don't get the wrong idea--you're still quite predictable. >:)

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ImpurestCheese

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ImpurestCheese

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@dboyrules2011: Okay, thanks, won't be an issue next Thursday though, I'm hibernating

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deactivated-5c901e667a76c

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ImpurestCheese

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@xwraith: Ah it's okay, pretty sure you have one somewhere

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deactivated-5c901e667a76c

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@impurestcheese: It was whales when I was six years old, and it was the nine-banded armadillo a few years ago.

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ImpurestCheese

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@xwraith: Armadillos are adorable and whales are pretty cool

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SpareHeadOne

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That was great!

I am a crazy cat man.

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ImpurestCheese

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Straight-Fire

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ImpurestCheese

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@dboyrules2011: I'll be on the Fan-Fic board at times, it's just that I need a few weeks reaserch time for new issues. Rest assured we will be starting 2016 with Fireworks

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Straight-Fire

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black_wreath

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Yay demon cat! ^_^

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sabracadabra

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Like all the wild cats,very impressive animal :)

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ImpurestCheese

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@black_wreath: Demon Cat? What's so demonic about it.

@sabracadabra: Yes they are very impressive, and very tempting as pets despite being completely unsuited for domestic life. Thanks for the comment BTW

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black_wreath

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@impurestcheese: Just look at the big one in that second pic.

Doesn't it look demonic?

Maybe even a little... horny?

... :D

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ImpurestCheese

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@black_wreath: Yes it's because its ears are tilted to listen to something behind it. Caracal's have 20 muscles controlling ear rotation, compare to eight in humans

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black_wreath

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ImpurestCheese

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@black_wreath: All cats have 32 ear muscles, the ratio of rotation to sensory differs per species. Caracals actually have 20 for sensory and 12 for rotation, earlier fact was the wrong way round.

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black_wreath

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@impurestcheese: Interesting, just one last question if I may: how does that compare to canine ears?

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ImpurestCheese

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Edited By black_wreath
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MasterKungFu

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man..........those ears

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ImpurestCheese

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rocketraccoonthingy

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Nice blog as always.

Have you ever thought of using Magic the Gathering cards for your blog? Might look good since Magic cards have black borders not black....

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ImpurestCheese

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@rocketraccoonthingy: Thanks for the comment, and no I haven't. might be something to look into next year

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deactivated-097092725

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First thing I want to comment on is how much I appreciate your blog and the time and effort you put into each of your articles. Sharing knowledge is one of the best things anyone can do and you do it so entertainingly and consistently so let me thank you for effort and enthusiasm. Having a doctor around these parts is pretty cool, too. (:P)

I had no idea these animals existed (outside of a picture you once uploaded with a blurb) and I have to admit, they are beautiful! I'd be tempted to think they weren't real.

Would they be dangerous for human beings? Have they been known to attack? Or does their nocturnal preference to prey stalking make this more unlikely, opportunity wise?

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ImpurestCheese

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@ms-lola: Firstly thanks for the first statement, it's been a pleasure sharing what I know so far.

Yes Caracals are real (as proven) although you're not the first person to question their existance. They are, after all called Ghost- Cats sometimes.

An unprevoked predatory caracal attack on a human is rare, and thus far unrecorded. They are formidable defensive fighters, a session of play with a 'tame' caracal will leave scratches on you, and will take on a human if there is no option other than to fight its attacker

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deactivated-097092725

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I am loving this animal more and more. Someone should make it a sidekick to a fictional character in comics. (hint hint)

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Overmonitor

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If someone is allergic to housecats, would they also be allergic to larger cats?

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ImpurestCheese

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@ms-lola: Yes they should.

@overmonitor: Well the protien in cat fur that causes allergies in people is Fel d I. Cats outside the genus Felis don't have Fel d I, but do have isomer protiens that mimic Feld I. As such if your allergic to cats, you'll be allergic to species outside the genus Felis, but to a much lesser level then domestic house cats

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