civet

Civets
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African Civet, Civettictis civetta

African Civet, Civettictis civetta
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Viverridae
in part
Genera


Civets are mammals, most of which are species in the family Viverridae. They are small, lithe-bodied, mostly arboreal members of the order Carnivora. General appearance is broadly cat-like, but the muzzle is extended and often pointed, rather like an otter or a mongoose. Civets range in length, excluding its long tail, from about 17 to 28 in (400 to 700 mm) and in weight from about 3 to 10 lb (1 to 5 kg).

Viverrids are native to most of the Old World tropics, nearly all of Africa bar the area immediately south of the Mediterranean, Madagascar, and the Iberian Peninsula. Favoured habitats include woodland, savanna, mountains and, above all, tropical rainforest. In consequence, many are faced with severe loss of habitat; several species are considered vulnerable and the Otter Civet is classified as endangered.

Although it resembles the other civets, the African Palm Civet (Nandinia binotata) is genetically distinct and belongs in its own monotypic family, Nandiniidae.

Breeding occurs year round; gestation is 60-81 days. Some species may have 2 litters per year. Each litter may contain 1-6 babies who are fully furred at birth. Very little is known about their mating habits.

Civets are omnivorous, supplementing a meat diet (both hunted and scavenged) with fruit, eggs, and possibly roots. One of the Common Palm Civet's favorite fruits is the coffee "berry." The coffee bean within often survives, and it is sometimes gathered and sold as caphe cut chon (fox-dung coffee) in Vietnam or Kopi Luwak (civet coffee) in Indonesia.

Despite their endangered species status, civets are also prized for their meat.

It has been suggested that the practice of eating palm civets may have resulted in the SARS virus outbreak of 2003. In January 2004, Guangdong province in China banned sales and ordered the slaughter of all captive civets. In January 2004 the United States announced an embargo on the importation of civets.

In 2005, the WWF released photos taken by a night time camera trap of an unknown carnivore (nicknamed the cat-fox) on Borneo, an island of Indonesia. Some scientists think it is either a new species of civet, or that it is one of the more rare species finally being spotted in modern times, such as Hose's Palm Civet.

The civet has been the source of a highly-valued musk, used as a stabilizing agent in perfumes. Although civets were at one time killed for their musk, they more recently have been "recycled" for this purpose. Also called "civet," excretions are scraped from the civet's perianal glands, a painful process. Both male and female civets produce these strong-smelling excretions. At least one civet farmer in Ethiopia raises civets for their musk, although this practice is dying out as perfumers move toward using synthetic fixatives. This musk, in strong amounts, has caused vomiting in humans.
Enlarge picture
A civet photographed in the Zigong People's Zoo, Sichuan, 2001, by the Asian Animal Protection Network. The AAPN writes that the animal was kept hungry so that visitors could feed him live eels from a ladle
Civetticus

Species: C. civetta

Binomial name
Civetticus civetta
(Schreber, 1776)

The African Civet
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Scientific classification or biological classification is a method by which biologists group and categorize species of organisms. Scientific classification also can be called scientific taxonomy, but should be distinguished from folk taxonomy, which lacks scientific basis.
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Chordata
Bateson, 1885

Typical Classes

See below

Chordates (phylum Chordata) are a group of animals that includes the vertebrates, together with several closely related invertebrates.
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Mammalia
Linnaeus, 1758

Subclasses & Infraclasses
  • Subclass †Allotheria*
  • Subclass Prototheria
  • Subclass Theria

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Carnivora
Bowdich, 1821

Families
  • 17, See classification

The diverse order Carnivora (IPA: /kɑrˈnɪvərə/
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Viverridae
Gray, 1821

Subfamilies

Paradoxurinae
Hemigalinae
Prionodontinae
Viverrinae

The family Viverridae is made up of 35 species, including all of the genets, the Binturong, most of the civets (pronounced IPA:
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Chrotogale

Species: C. owstoni

Binomial name
Chrotogale owstoni
(Thomas, 1912)

Owston's Palm Civet (Chrotagale owstoni
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Cynogale

Species: C. bennettii

Binomial name
Cynogale bennettii
J E Gray, 1837

The Otter Civet, Cynogale bennettii
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Diplogale
Thomas, 1912

Species: D. hosei

Binomial name
Diplogale hosei
(Thomas, 1892)

The Hose's Palm Civet (
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Hemigalus

Species: H. derbyanus

Binomial name
Hemigalus derbyanus
(Gray, 1837)

The Banded Palm Civet (Hemigalus derbyanus
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Arctogalidia
Merriam, 1897

Species: A. trivirgata

Binomial name
Arctogalidia trivirgata
(Gray, 1832)

Subspecies

A. t.
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Macrogalidia
Schwartz, 1910

Species: M. musschenbroekii

Binomial name
Macrogalidia musschenbroekii
(Schlegel, 1877)

The
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Paguma
Gray, 1831

Species: P. larvata

Binomial name
Paguma larvata
(C. E. H.
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Paradoxurus
F.Cuvier, 1821

Species
  • P. hermaphroditus
  • P. zeylonensis
  • P. jerdoni


Paradoxurus is a genus of viverrids in one of the civet subfamilies, Paradoxurinae.
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Civetticus

Species: C. civetta

Binomial name
Civetticus civetta
(Schreber, 1776)

The African Civet
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Viverricula

Species: V. indica

Binomial name
Viverricula indica
Desmarest, 1804

The Small Indian Civet (Viverricula indica
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Mammalia
Linnaeus, 1758

Subclasses & Infraclasses
  • Subclass †Allotheria*
  • Subclass Prototheria
  • Subclass Theria

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family (Latin: familia, plural familiae) is a rank, or a taxon in that rank. Exact details of formal nomenclature depend on the Nomenclature Code which applies.
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Viverridae
Gray, 1821

Subfamilies

Paradoxurinae
Hemigalinae
Prionodontinae
Viverrinae

The family Viverridae is made up of 35 species, including all of the genets, the Binturong, most of the civets (pronounced IPA:
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order (Latin: ordo, plural ordines) is a rank between class and family (termed a taxon at that rank). The superorder is a rank between class and order. Exact details of formal nomenclature depend on the Nomenclature Code which applies.
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Carnivora
Bowdich, 1821

Families
  • 17, See classification

The diverse order Carnivora (IPA: /kɑrˈnɪvərə/
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Lutrinae

Genera

Amblonyx
Aonyx
Enhydra
Lontra
Lutra
Lutrogale
Pteronura

Otters (Lutrinae) are amphibious (or in one case aquatic) carnivorous mammals.
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Herpestidae
Bonaparte, 1845

Subfamiles
Herpestinae

A mongoose (plural mongooses or mongeese[1]) is a member of the family Herpestidae, a family of small cat-like carnivores.
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Africa is the world's second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. At about 30,221,532 km² (11,668,545 sq mi) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area, and 20.4% of the total land area.
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Mediterranean is a sea of the Atlantic Ocean almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Europe, on the south by Africa, and on the east by Asia. It covers an approximate area of 2.
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Motto
Tanindrazana, Fahafahana, Fandrosoana   (Malagasy)
Patrie, liberté, progrès   (French)
"Ancestral-land, Liberty, Progress"
Anthem

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The Iberian Peninsula, or Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe, and includes modern day Spain, Portugal, Andorra and Gibraltar. It is the western and southernmost of the three southern European peninsulas (the Iberian, Italian, and Balkan peninsulas).
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Tropical rainforests are rainforests generally found near the equator. They are common in Asia, Africa, South America, Central America, and on many of the Pacific Islands.
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Cynogale

Species: C. bennettii

Binomial name
Cynogale bennettii
J E Gray, 1837

The Otter Civet, Cynogale bennettii
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