There is a wide-spread idea that the animal called civets are killed during the rpocess of extracting the oil of civet from them. The idea holds no water, ther is a complex menthod of obtaining the oil from civets but in no way are the animals killed during it.
All other species of palm civets live in the forests of Asia. Their semiarboreal life style is supported by sharp, curved, retractile claws, hairless soles, and partially fused third and fourth toes which add to a more sure-footed grasp. Although skillful climbers, they spend considerable time foraging on the ground for animals and fallen fruits. The broad-faced binturong, or bear cat, has a strong, muscular long-haired tail that is prehensile at the tip. This characteristic is unique among viverrids. The body hair is long and coarse.
There are five species of banded palm civets and otter civets (subfamily Hemigalinae), all living in the forests of Southeast Asia. Perhaps best known is the banded palm civet, named for the dark brown markings on its coat. The general coat color ranges from pale yellow to grayish buff. The face is distinctly marked by several dark longitudinal stripes. The coloration of the body is broken by about five transverse bands stretching midway down the flank. The tail is dark on its lower half, with two broad dark rings at the base. Foraging at night on the ground and in trees, the banded palm civet searches for -
Otter civets could be mistaken for long-nosed otters. Similar in habit and appearance, otter civets are excellent swimmers and capable of climbing trees. Their toes are partially webbed, but their dense water repellant fur, thick whiskers, and valve-like nostrils are effective adaptations for living in water and preying on fish. There are two species which show differences in their coat coloration and number of teeth. Otter civets have smaller ears, blunter muzzles, shorter tails and more compact bodies than most banded palm civets.
There are 19 species of true civets and genets classified in the subfamily Viverrinae. One of the best known is the African civet. A rather large, heavily built, long-bodied and long-legged carnivore, it is the most doglike viverrid. Preferring to be near water, it lives in a variety of habitats ranging from moist tropical forest to dry scrub savannah. It is considered terrestrial, climbing trees only in an emergency such as when hunted.
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