African Civet

African Civet Classification and Evolution

The African Civet is the only remaining member in its genetic group and is regarded as the largest Civet-like animal in the African continent. Despite their cat-like overall look and behaviours, the African Civets are not felines at all but are in fact, more closely related to other little carnivores including Weasels and Mongooses. The African Civet is well known for its musk that it secretes to mark its land (known as Civetone), that has been used in the manufacturing of perfumes for centuries, and its black and white markings, create the African Civet one of the simplest Civet species to spot.

African Civet Anatomy and Appearance

African Civet

One of those African Civet’s very distinctive features would be the black and white markings on their own fur and grey face, which along with the black band around their eyes, gives these animals a Raccoon-like look. The similarity is only heightened by the fact that the African Civet’s hind legs are quite a bit longer than front legs, which makes its stance very different to that of a Mongoose. The typical adult African Civet has a body length of around 70cm with the same length tail on top of that. The paws of those African Civet each have five digits using non-retractable claws to allow the Civet to maneuver about from the trees more readily.

African Civet Distribution and Habitat

The African Civet is found in an assortment of habitats around the African continent, with its range extending from coast to coast in sub-Saharan Africa. African Civets are most frequently seen in tropical forests and jungles and areas where there’s plenty of dense vegetation to provide both pay and animals the African Civets feeds on. African Civets are not located in arid regions and constantly must be in a place which has a good water source. Despite this however, it’s not unusual for African Civets to be found along rivers that lead to the moist regions. They are capable swimmers and frequently spend their time searching and resting in the trees in addition to on the ground.

African Civet Behaviour and Lifestyle

The African Civet is a solitary animal that just comes out under the cover of night to hunt and catch food. All these nocturnal creatures are primarily tree-dwelling creatures that spend the majority of the daylight hours resting at the security of the trees high above. African Civets tend to be most active just after sunset but tend to search in areas that still offer plenty of cover. Despite being normally very solitary creatures, the African Civet was proven to gather in groups up to 15 members especially during the mating season. They are also exceptionally territorial animals, signaling their boundaries together with the odor released by their own perineal glands.

African Civet Reproduction and Life Cycles

The only time when African Civets appear to be viewed together is when they are mating. The feminine African Civet usually gives birth to around 4 youthful after a gestation period that lasts for a few months. The female African Civet nests in an underground burrow that has been dug by another creature at order to safely raise her young. Unlike a lot of their carnivorous relatives, Civet infants are often born quite portable and with their fur. The infants are nursed by their mother until they are strong enough to fend off for themselves. African Civets can live for up to 20 years, although many seldom get to be this old.

African Civet Diet and Prey

Despite the fact that the African Civet is a carnivorous mammal, it has a very varied diet which is made up of both creature and plant matter. Small creatures such as Rodents, Lizards, Snakes and Frogs compose most the African Civet’s diet, together with Insects, berries and fallen fruits that it locates the forest floor. The African Civet predominantly uses its mouth and teeth to gather food instead of using its own temptations. This way of eating means that the African Civet can use its 40 sharp teeth effectively to break its catch down, and also the strong jaw of the African Civet makes it tougher for its meal to attempt to escape.

African Civet Predators and Threats

Regardless of being a secretive however a comparatively ferocious predator, the African Civet is actually preyed upon by many of other predators within their natural surroundings . Large predatory Cats would be the most common predators of the African Civet such as Lions and Leopards Together with reptiles for example large Snakes and Crocodiles. African Civet populations are also under threat from the habitat loss and deforestation, and have been subject to trophy hunters before, across the continent. Among the biggest dangers to the African Civet is that the want for their musk.

African Civet Interesting Facts and Features

The musk secreted from the glands close to the African Civet’s reproductive organs was collected by Humans for hundreds of years. In its concentrated form, the smell is said to be quite offensive to individuals, but much more pleasant once diluted. It was this odor that became one of the components in some of the most expensive perfumes in the world (and produced the African Civet a well-known African creature ). African Civets are known to carry the rabies disease, which is contracted through contact with an already infected creature . The African Civet is known to use designated areas around its land , where it’s in a position to visit the toilet.

African Civet Relationship with Humans

Each African Civet secretes around 4g of musk every week, which is normally gathered from African Civets from the wild. On the other hand, the shooting and keeping of African Civets for their musk isn’t unknown and is said to be an incredibly cruel industry. Nowadays, few perfumes nevertheless contain actual musk from the glands of an African Civet as many scents these days are easily reproduced artificially. Although it is a protected yet not an endangered creature , the African Civet populations also have been severely affected by Individual hunters, who hunt these little carnivores to just add their skin into the trophy cabinet.

African Civet Conservation Status and Life Today

Today, the African Civet is under threat from deforestation and so drastic loss of its normal habitat. The main reason for this extensive deforestation in the area is for to clear the land to generate way for palm oil plantations. The African Civet is recorded as being Least Concern, which means that there is not much threat at the moment that the African Civet will end up extinct in the not too distant future.

African Civet Facts

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Mammalia
Order: Carnivora
Family: Viverridae
Genus: Civettictis
Scientific Name: Civettictis civetta
Common Name: African Civet
Group: Mammal
Number Of Species: 1
Location: across sub-Saharan Africa
Habitat: Tropical rainforest
Colour: Black, White, Grey, Yellow, Brown, Tan
Skin Type: Fur
Size (H): 43cm – 71cm (17in – 28in)
Weight: 1.4kg – 4.5kg (3lbs – 10lbs)
Diet: Omnivore
Prey: Rodents, Snakes, Frogs
Predators: Lions, Snakes, Leopards
Lifestyle: Nocturnal
Group Behaviour: Solitary
Lifespan: 15 – 20 years
Age Of Sexual Maturity: 11 – 12 months
Gestation Period: 60 – 70 days
Average Litter Size: 3
Name Of Young: Pup
Age Of Weaning: 8 – 10 weeks
Conservation Status: Least Concern
Estimated Population Size: Abundant
Biggest Threat: Habitat loss
Most Distinctive Feature: Black band around their eyes
Fun Fact: Secretes up to 4g of musk every week!