SERVAL Leptailurus serval

NAME 

The name Serval is derived from a Portuguese word meaning "deer-like wolf" (cervus = deer).  In Africa it is commonly referred to as a 'bush cat', and in Afrikaans (South Africa) it is known as a tierboskat which means 'tiger bush cat'. 

IDENTIFICATION 

Serval have a combination of spots and stripes on their coats, and they have very large rounded ears for picking up the sounds of prey in long grasses.  More...
Serval are similar in size to Caracal however are slender and longer. 

UNIQUE BEHAVIOUR 

The Serval has a very characteristic pouncing technique when hunting rodents. It leaps high into the air and then lands on the prey with its forepaws, stunning the prey in the process. Watch a video...

Highlights

*Unique to Africa

*Very large ears 

*Pounces on prey

DISTRIBUTION 

Serval only occur in Africa, inhabiting the wetter areas and are absent from the deserts in the north and south west.  

HISTORY  

The Serval was the symbol of the Italian Tomasi family, princes of the island of Lampedusa. Giuseppe Tomasi di Lampedusa, wrote the famous Italian novel IlGattopardo. Despite being known as The Leopard in English, the Italian title actually refers to a serval. The serval's North African range is near Lampedusa.
Tomasi Coat of Arms
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Small Cats of Africa

Tomasi Coat of Arms