For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A visit to the zoo - Part 5

This is such a beautiful cat (Felis Caracal), I thought I would do a post just on it. It is a distant cousin to the Lynx.

In hunting, the Caracal is mainly nocturnal, but will also use the twilight hours to search out its prey. Diurnal activity has also been observed, specially in the hunting of bird.
For its size the Caracal is strong and fast, and as well as taking smaller prey such as Jerboas, Sand Rat, Ground Squirrel and Rock Hyrax, it can also bring down the larger Reedbuck and Duiker.This Cat is able, from a sitting position, to launch 4-5 metres in the air by using its strong hind quarters and limbs. They do this to pluck flying bird prey from the air.
The Caracal moves with grace and a sense of confident power. It is an expert climber and regularly takes refuge in trees.

(The picture below is not the best I have taken as it happened so quickly but I thought I would include it anyway.)
In most parts of its range the Caracal has no set breeding period and a female may often mate with up to three males. The litter size varies between 1-6 kittens, which are born after a gestation period of approximately 78 days. The kittens have a daily weight gain of approximately 21g per day and although they reach maturity at about 16-18 months of age they are often independent from about 12 months.
Mostly nocturnal, secretive, solitary, and an aggressive animal. Due to being hunted as a problem animal by farmers, Caracal became even more elusive and thus a sighting of one is very difficult.

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