Ears swiveling like dish antennae, they stalk African grasslands, intent on pinpointing the faint sounds made by means of their prey. Huge ears and lengthy legs distinguish the serval (Leptailurus serval), who stands proud for being the tallest of Africa’s small wildcats. In reality, relative to their dimension, servals have the longest legs of all cats.

The extremely environment friendly hunters prowl the African savanna the place their actions stay hidden by means of grasses till they soar prime — up to 10 ft — to pounce at the rats, mice and different rodents, snakes, lizards, frogs, birds (together with flamingos and storks) and bugs that make up their vitamin. Tall grasses serve every other goal: to cover them from predators corresponding to hyenas and wild canine. A tawny coat with bars, blotches and spots provides to their camouflage.

Servals are wide-ranging throughout Africa and may also be discovered anyplace grass grows, together with alongside the perimeters of forests and marshes, particularly if water is within sight. They revel in taking part in in water (a trait that may be observed in Savannah cats, which hint their ancestry to crosses between servals and home cats). In contrast to many cats, wild or home, servals are incessantly observed out and about past due into the morning and alternatively from four p.m. On cool or overcast days, they’re lively for longer sessions. And so they make little barking sounds as they name to one another.

Concerning the writer

Kim Campbell Thornton has written about cats and canine for greater than 30 years. She is the writer of greater than two dozen books and loads of articles on puppy care, well being and behaviour.

Thumbnail: Pictures ©dennisvdw | Getty Pictures.

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