What Civets Are

As a kid I had never this breed of dogs called greyhound…I had gone on to play in the city park…along with this friend of mine…And nothing in life could have ever rendered me frozen than standing a meter or two away from this gigantic and abnormally slim creature that seemed too less like a dog…I screamed and ran away…my friend followed…I told dad the incident and he laughed hard and from my description understood what the creature must have been…He told me what loving animals are dogs of those breeds…and gradually after knowing so much about them…I fell in love with the amiable creatures…

Hmm…Reason of my sharing this incident…We can’t love something that we don’t know…I am here to make you fall in love with these unusually amazing creatures…civets…and after knowing what all they give us you’ll fall even more in love with them…

Hmm…Small to medium-sized carnivores…civets are in the Viverridae family which includes –

  1. Genets
  2. Linsangs
  3. Mongooses

There are 35 species of civets and genets in 20 genera…Their natural distribution is restricted to the warmer regions of the Old World…and they occupy a niche similarly filled by weasels and their relatives found in temperate deciduous forests…Civets vary in size and form…but most present a catlike appearance with long noses…slender bodies…pointed ears…short legs and generally a long furry tail….Cute no?

Anyway…moving ahead…Civets with a spotted or striped coat have five toes on each foot…There is webbing between the toes…and the claws are totally or semi-retractile…The pointed ears extend above the profile of the head…The ear flaps have pockets or bursae on the outside margins…similar to domestic cats…Their teeth are specialized for an omnivorous diet…including shearing carnassials teeth and flat-crowned molars in both upper and lower jaws…Teeth number from 38 to 40…depending on the species…

There’s a catch about them…Often…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…

Primarily nocturnal foragers with semi arboreal and arboreal habit…civets typically ambush their prey…During the day…civets usually rest in a hollow tree…rock crevice or empty…shallow burrow…They are solitary animals maintaining a wide home range…by scent marking trees on the borders of their territory…The term “civet” is derived from an Arabic word describing the oily fluid and its odor secreted by the perineal glands…Scent marking is important in civet communication…but the method differs among species from passively passing the scent when moving about causing the gland to rub vegetation…to squatting and then wiping or rubbing the gland on the ground or some prominent object…. 

Okay…you know enough now…Go through our reference links now…

  1. Civets by BP
  2. Civets by about.com
  3. Civet Oil by Dope

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