The caracal: Africa’s “Batman”

As usual, Friday is video day! 🙂

Today’s footage shows the agility and incredible hunting skills of a little known cat of the African savanna: the caracal! This relatively small fellow, closely related to the serval, is mainly nocturnal and solitary. It is easily recognized by its long, tufted, black-tipped ears.

Neat little antennas, aren’t they?!

To be honest with you I have only been privileged enough to observe it once in the wild, and my encounter with this incredible being goes way back to my early childhood (in Kenya)! I feel extremely lucky nevertheless, as the animal is shy and very seldom seen. 🙂

Interesting Facts:

    • The word “caracal” comes from the Turkish term karakulak, meaning “black ears”!
    • Preys chiefly upon rodents and hares, but will also eat larger animals such as hyraxes, birds (a guinea fowl in the video) and even young kudus, sheep and goats! Rather impressive don’t you think, especially when you consider that the average caracal’s mass is about 16 kg!
    • Its ears, used to sense its prey, are controlled by 20 different muscles!
    • Springs into the air with ease, and can reach leaps of up to 3 m in height! Absolutely astounding!
    • Caracals can go without water for long periods of time. They find most of the fluids they need in the food they eat!

Caracal Video: Hunting Skills Illustrated!

Still wondering why I called it Africa’s “Batman”? Watch this video closely and you’ll soon find out… 😉

Broadcaster: tiagoesquimo


4 Responses to The caracal: Africa’s “Batman”

  1. Cheryl October 7, 2009 at 12:33 am #

    Hi Michael 🙂

    You can't help but chuckle when you see the caracal wandering through the grass with his ears sticking up. Definitely Batman.

    I like the photograph of the caracal better. She/he looks so much more 'regal'.
    Beautiful animal.

  2. Africa Traveler September 23, 2009 at 3:32 pm #

    Huh, it looks just like the lynx that we have all the way up in Norway. And just like a caracal, the lynx is extremely shy and very few people ever get to see more than its tracks.

    I assume they are extremely closely related?

    • africafreak September 25, 2009 at 11:00 am #

      Hi there, thanks for the comment! 🙂

      Apparently so the caracal is no longer considered to be an actual lynx! Specialists now believe it is closely related to the serval and golden cat, as mentioned above in the post.

      But you are absolutely right, they do look VERY similar both in shape, size and have the same kind of habits!

      Take care,


  3. johan knols September 20, 2009 at 12:50 pm #

    Hi Michael,

    We must be thinking along the same lines. Check this: Nice way of describing the caracal: The ‘batman’


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