1200px-Caracal Caracal-001
The name caracal (Caracal caracal) is Turkish for "black ears". Caracals are also known as desert lynxes because they have short tails and ear-tufts like their northern cousins, an adaptation for cold weather. This has led scientists to conclude that the caracal's ancestors once lived in colder regions.

This adaptation to the cold comes in handy during the night, when caracals generally hunt. It is not unusual for desert temperatures to plunge below 0 degrees C. Caracals prey on anything they can find and kill, including insects, snakes, lizards, gazelles and even brooding ostriches.

Caracals set up home in the abandoned burrows of porcupines or any other suitable crevices. Like other types of lynx, the caracal hunts at night, stealing up close to its prey before leaping the last few metres in huge bounds. The caracal is the fastest cat of its size. Prey is stalked and then captured after a quick dash or leap. The caracal is easy to tame and has been used as a hunting cat in Iran and India. However, it is also persecuted in this region as a pest.


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