Encyclopedia > Civet

  Article Content

Civet

Civet
Scientific classification
Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum:Chordata
Class:Mammalia
Order:Carnivora
Family:Viverridae
Subfamilies
Paradoxurinae
Nandiniae

The 35 species of civet and genet make up the family Viverridae. They are small, lithe-bodied, mostly aboreal 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.

They 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 classed as vulnerable and both the Otter Civet[?] and the Falanouc[?] are classified as endangered.

Civets are omnivorous, supplementing a meat diet (both hunted and scavenged) with fruit, eggs, fish, insects, and possibly roots.

Civets are prized for their musk and their fur. Civet is used to refer to the musk they produce, as well as the animals themselves: it is used in small quantities in some perfumes. Despite their endangered species status, civets are also prized for their meat; it has been suggested that the practice of eating them may have resulted in the SARS virus outbreak[?] of 2002.

  • ORDER CARNIVORA
    • Family Felidae: cats, 37 species
    • Family Canidae: dogs, 35 species
    • Family Ursidae: bears, 8 species
    • Family Procyonidae: racoons, 19 species
    • Family Mustelidae: weasels and allies, 55 species
    • Family Mephitidae: skunks, 10 species
    • Family Viverridae
      • African Palm Civet, Nandina binotata
      • Small-toothed Palm Civet, Arctogalida trivirgata
      • Common Palm Civet[?], Paradoxurus hermaphroditus
      • Golden Palm Civet, Paradoxurus zelonensis
      • Jerdon's Palm Civet, Paradoxurus jerdoni
      • Masked Palm Civet, Paradoxurus larvata
      • Sulawesi Palm Civet, Paradoxurus musschenbroekii
      • Binturong, Arcticis binturong
      • African Civet, Civetticus civetta
      • Oriental Civet, Viverra tangalunga
      • Indian Civet, Viverra zibetha
    • Family Herpestidae: Mongooses, 35 species
    • Family Hyaenidae: hyenas, 4 species



All Wikipedia text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License

 
  Search Encyclopedia

Search over one million articles, find something about almost anything!
 
 
  
  Featured Article
Music of Finland

... was founded in order to provide opportunities for artistic expression, beginning with the Jyväskylä festival in 1881. The festival, organized on Estonian ...