Yesterday we went a little domestic as we explored the life of the Golden Retriever so today, I figured we would do the exact opposite. We are going to look at a wild cat called the Serval. To catch a glimpse of this beautiful cat, we will need to make a quick trip over to Southern Africa, so make sure you dig your safari hat out of the closet. While we are there, make sure to keep an eye out for the Caracal, which happens to be a relative of today’s featured animal. Maybe we will be able to catch a little family reunion!
When you take a quick look at the Serval, you may think that it looks similar to a Cheetah. This makes sense since these two cats have several similar traits. In fact, it is believed that the Cheetah originated from an ancient Serval species. So what traits do these two cats share? Well, you have probably noticed the nice spotted coat of the Serval, which is an obvious physical characteristic that it shares with one of the fastest cats around. Similarly, the Serval is also a powerful and strong animal with long legs that allows them to be quite quick themselves. Okay, so they may not out run a Cheetah but the Serval is capable of running at speeds of 80 km/hr (50 mph), which is very impressive (and a lot faster than I can run).
The legs of the Serval are actually the longest of any cat species compared to the rest of their body (so proportionally they are the longest) and they even have elongated toes that are surprising mobile. What is the point of these long toes? Well, apparently this helps our feline friend pull out partially covered prey. What types of animals would hide from a Serval? The obvious answer is “smart ones” but the ones that need to be on the lookout include hares, reptiles, frogs, fish, insects and even birds. As well, the Serval has been known to occasionally hunt larger animals such as the antelope but this is quite rare. Besides, I don’t think they would be able to pull an antelope out of hiding using just their toes.
Serval Fast Fact – You may have noticed that the Serval has incredibly large ears. As a result, these cats have an amazing sense of hearing and are capable of detecting vibrations over long distances. Naturally, this gives them an edge when hunting for the above mentioned prey species.
I hope you enjoyed our trip back to the Wild side. Have a great day and I will see you back here tomorrow for another fun Wild Fact.