Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata (Vertebrata) Class: Mammalia Order: Carnivora Family: Felidae Genus: Felinae (Caracal) Species: caracal The caracal sports a short, dense hair coat, seen in colors of tawny-brown (most common), brick red, and (rarely) black. The most distinctive characteristic of the caracal is its ears. Each ear is topped with a long, black tuft of hair, which is approximately 1.5 inches (4 cm) long. The underbelly, throat, and chin of the caracal are white, with pale blotches of red at the inner thighs and belly. Narrow, black stripes distinctively run down from the eyes to the nose of the caracal, as well as down the middle of the forehead. The caracal’s eyes are a yellow-brown color that do not appear as slits, as they do in other wildcats. The male caracal cat can weigh up to 40 pounds (18 kg), whereas the females weight slightly less at an average of 35 pounds (16 kg). From the shoulder, these cats stand about 16-20 inches (40-50 cm) tall, and can be 35-39 inches (88-99 cm) long. Interesting Facts about the Caracal The caracal gets its name from the Turkish word “karakulak,” which means “black ear..” Additional interesting facts about the caracal : Extraordinary Jumper – The caracal can leap almost 10 feet (3 meters) into the air to catch birds of prey. Fastest Wildcat – The caracal is the fastest wildcat of its size. Small but deadly – The caracal can tackle prey three times its size. The caracal’s impressive hunting abilities sparked an interest in the people of India and Iran, who trained them to hunt birds. Caracal bird hunting became something of a sport, and bets were often placed on the mighty cats, as to which cat would catch the most birds. The average number of flying birds a caracal could catch was 10-12 in one sporting event.