Civet
Overview
The family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 Viverridae is made up of around 30 species of medium-sized mammal, including all of the genets
Genet (animal)
Genets are Old World mammals from the order Carnivora, family Viverridae, related to civets and linsangs. All species are contained within the genus Genetta, although the Aquatic Genet is sometimes housed in its own genus Osbornictis....

, the binturong
Binturong
The Binturong , also known as the Asian Bearcat, the Palawan Bearcat, or simply the Bearcat, is a species of the family Viverridae, which includes the civets and genets. It is the only member of its genus...

, most of the civet
Civet
The family Viverridae is made up of around 30 species of medium-sized mammal, including all of the genets, the binturong, most of the civets, and the two African linsangs....

s, and the two African linsangs.

Viverrids are native to most of the Old World tropics, nearly all of Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 (bar the area immediately south of the Mediterranean), and the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

. Favoured habitats include woodland, savanna, mountains and, above all, tropical rainforest
Tropical rainforest
A tropical rainforest is an ecosystem type that occurs roughly within the latitudes 28 degrees north or south of the equator . This ecosystem experiences high average temperatures and a significant amount of rainfall...

. Due to heavy deforestation, many are faced with severe loss of habitat; several species are considered vulnerable (such as the rare Hose's Civet
Hose's Palm Civet
The Hose's palm civet , also known as the Hose's civet , is a civet found in Borneo. It is named after zoologist Charles Hose and is a member of the family Viverridae...

, endemic
Endemic (ecology)
Endemism is the ecological state of being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere. For example, all species of lemur are endemic to the...

 to northern Borneo
Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located north of Java Island, Indonesia, at the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia....

), and the Otter Civet
Otter Civet
The Otter Civet, Cynogale bennettii, is a semi-aquatic civet found in forests, primarily lowland, near rivers and swampy areas of the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo. An additional population, only known from single specimen, occurs in northern Vietnam...

 is classified as endangered.
Viverrids are amongst the primitive families of the Carnivora
Carnivora
The diverse order Carnivora |Latin]] carō "flesh", + vorāre "to devour") includes over 260 species of placental mammals. Its members are formally referred to as carnivorans, while the word "carnivore" can refer to any meat-eating animal...

, with skeletons very similar to those of fossils dating back to the Eocene
Eocene
The Eocene Epoch, lasting from about 56 to 34 million years ago , is a major division of the geologic timescale and the second epoch of the Paleogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Eocene spans the time from the end of the Palaeocene Epoch to the beginning of the Oligocene Epoch. The start of the...

, up to 50 million years ago.
Encyclopedia
The family
Family (biology)
In biological classification, family is* a taxonomic rank. Other well-known ranks are life, domain, kingdom, phylum, class, order, genus, and species, with family fitting between order and genus. As for the other well-known ranks, there is the option of an immediately lower rank, indicated by the...

 Viverridae is made up of around 30 species of medium-sized mammal, including all of the genets
Genet (animal)
Genets are Old World mammals from the order Carnivora, family Viverridae, related to civets and linsangs. All species are contained within the genus Genetta, although the Aquatic Genet is sometimes housed in its own genus Osbornictis....

, the binturong
Binturong
The Binturong , also known as the Asian Bearcat, the Palawan Bearcat, or simply the Bearcat, is a species of the family Viverridae, which includes the civets and genets. It is the only member of its genus...

, most of the civet
Civet
The family Viverridae is made up of around 30 species of medium-sized mammal, including all of the genets, the binturong, most of the civets, and the two African linsangs....

s, and the two African linsangs.

Viverrids are native to most of the Old World tropics, nearly all of Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

 (bar the area immediately south of the Mediterranean), and the Iberian Peninsula
Iberian Peninsula
The Iberian Peninsula , sometimes called Iberia, is located in the extreme southwest of Europe and includes the modern-day sovereign states of Spain, Portugal and Andorra, as well as the British Overseas Territory of Gibraltar...

. Favoured habitats include woodland, savanna, mountains and, above all, tropical rainforest
Tropical rainforest
A tropical rainforest is an ecosystem type that occurs roughly within the latitudes 28 degrees north or south of the equator . This ecosystem experiences high average temperatures and a significant amount of rainfall...

. Due to heavy deforestation, many are faced with severe loss of habitat; several species are considered vulnerable (such as the rare Hose's Civet
Hose's Palm Civet
The Hose's palm civet , also known as the Hose's civet , is a civet found in Borneo. It is named after zoologist Charles Hose and is a member of the family Viverridae...

, endemic
Endemic (ecology)
Endemism is the ecological state of being unique to a defined geographic location, such as an island, nation or other defined zone, or habitat type; organisms that are indigenous to a place are not endemic to it if they are also found elsewhere. For example, all species of lemur are endemic to the...

 to northern Borneo
Borneo
Borneo is the third largest island in the world and is located north of Java Island, Indonesia, at the geographic centre of Maritime Southeast Asia....

), and the Otter Civet
Otter Civet
The Otter Civet, Cynogale bennettii, is a semi-aquatic civet found in forests, primarily lowland, near rivers and swampy areas of the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo. An additional population, only known from single specimen, occurs in northern Vietnam...

 is classified as endangered.

Characteristics

Viverrids are amongst the primitive families of the Carnivora
Carnivora
The diverse order Carnivora |Latin]] carō "flesh", + vorāre "to devour") includes over 260 species of placental mammals. Its members are formally referred to as carnivorans, while the word "carnivore" can refer to any meat-eating animal...

, with skeletons very similar to those of fossils dating back to the Eocene
Eocene
The Eocene Epoch, lasting from about 56 to 34 million years ago , is a major division of the geologic timescale and the second epoch of the Paleogene Period in the Cenozoic Era. The Eocene spans the time from the end of the Palaeocene Epoch to the beginning of the Oligocene Epoch. The start of the...

, up to 50 million years ago. They are variable in form, but generally resemble long-nosed cats. Most have retractile or partially-retractile claw
Claw
A claw is a curved, pointed appendage, found at the end of a toe or finger in most mammals, birds, and some reptiles. However, the word "claw" is also often used in reference to an invertebrate. Somewhat similar fine hooked structures are found in arthropods such as beetles and spiders, at the end...

s, a baculum
Baculum
The baculum is a bone found in the penis of most mammals. It is absent in humans, but present in other primates, such as the gorilla and chimpanzee.The bone aids in sexual intercourse.-Purpose:...

, and an anal scent gland
Scent gland
Scent glands are found in the genital area of most mammals and in various other parts of the body, such as the underarms of humans and the preorbital glands of deer and muskox. They produce a semi-viscous fluid which contains pheromones. These odor-messengers indicate information such as status,...

.

Viverrids range in size from the African Linsang
African Linsang
The African Linsang is a species of linsang in the family Viverridae. It is endemic to Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo. The African linsang is a largely arboreal creature...

 with a body length of 33 cm (13 in), and a weight of 650 g (1.4 lb), to the African Civet
African Civet
The African Civet is the largest representative of the African Viverridae. It is the sole member of its genus. African Civets can be found from coast to coast across sub-Saharan Africa. They are primarily nocturnal and spend the day sleeping in dense vegetation...

 at 84 cm (33.1 in) and 18 kg (39.7 lb), although very large Binturong
Binturong
The Binturong , also known as the Asian Bearcat, the Palawan Bearcat, or simply the Bearcat, is a species of the family Viverridae, which includes the civets and genets. It is the only member of its genus...

s, to 25 kg (55.1 lb), attain the greatest mass.

They are nocturnal animals, with excellent hearing and vision. They are generally solitary. Despite their placement in the order Carnivora, they are omnivorous, or, in the case of the Palm Civets, almost entirely herbivorous. In reflection of this, their flesh-shearing carnassial
Carnassial
Carnassials are large teeth found in many carnivorous mammals, used for shearing flesh and bone in a scissor- or shear-like way. In the Carnivora, the carnassials are the modified last upper premolar and the first molar, but in the prehistoric creodonts, the carnassials were further back in the...

 teeth are relatively undeveloped. The usual dental formula
Dentition
Dentition pertains to the development of teeth and their arrangement in the mouth. In particular, the characteristic arrangement, kind, and number of teeth in a given species at a given age...

 is:

Classification

Although it resembles the civets of the family Viverridae, the African Palm Civet
African Palm Civet
The African palm civet , also known as the two-spotted palm civet, is a small mammal, with short legs, small ears, a body resembling a cat, and a long lithe tail as long as its body. Adults usually weigh . It is native to the forests of eastern Africa, where it usually inhabits trees...

 (Nandinia binotata) is genetically distinct and belongs in its own monotypic family, Nandiniidae. The Madagascan Fossa
Fossa (animal)
The fossa is a cat-like, carnivorous mammal that is endemic to Madagascar. It is a member of the Eupleridae, a family of carnivorans closely related to the mongoose family . Its classification has been controversial because its physical traits resemble those of cats, yet other traits suggest a...

 Cryptoprocta ferox was similarly long thought to be a member of Viverridae, but genetic evidence indicates that this animal is a member of the family Eupleridae
Eupleridae
The family Eupleridae is a group of carnivorans endemic to Madagascar and comprising 10 known species in seven genera. Probably the best known species is the Fossa , in the subfamily Euplerinae...

, an endemic Madagascan carnivore radiation related to the family Herpestidae. Furthermore, the Asiatic linsangs of the genus Prionodon, are more closely related to the cats, the family Felidae
Felidae
Felidae is the biological family of the cats; a member of this family is called a felid. Felids are the strictest carnivores of the thirteen terrestrial families in the order Carnivora, although the three families of marine mammals comprising the superfamily pinnipedia are as carnivorous as the...

; they were therefore removed from Viverridae and placed in their own family, Prionodontidae. There is little dispute, however, that the African linsang
African linsang
The African linsangs also known as Oyans are two species classified in the mammalian subfamily Viverrinae, in the family Viverridae. There is one genus, Poiana....

s of genus Poiana are viverrids.

Species

  • Family VIVERRIDAE
    • Subfamily Paradoxurinae
      Paradoxurinae
      Paradoxurinae is a subfamily of viverrids....

      • Genus Arctictis
        • Binturong
          Binturong
          The Binturong , also known as the Asian Bearcat, the Palawan Bearcat, or simply the Bearcat, is a species of the family Viverridae, which includes the civets and genets. It is the only member of its genus...

           (Arctictis binturong)
      • Genus Arctogalidia
        • Small-toothed Palm Civet
          Small-toothed Palm Civet
          The Small-toothed Palm Civet , also known as the Three-striped Palm Civet, is a civet. It lives in dense forests of southeast Asia, from the Assam district of India to Indochina and the Malay Peninsula and on Sumatra, Bangka, Java, Borneo, and numerous small nearby islands of Indonesia.The...

           (Arctogalidia trivirgata)
      • Genus Macrogalidia
        • Sulawesi Palm Civet (Macrogalidia musschenbroekii)
      • Genus Paguma
        • Masked Palm Civet
          Masked Palm Civet
          The Masked Palm Civet or Gem-faced Civet is a civet species native to the Indian Subcontinent and Southeast Asia, and classified by IUCN in 2008 as Least Concern as it occurs in many protected areas, is tolerant to some degree of habitat modification, and widely distributed with presumed large...

           (Paguma larvata)
      • Genus Paradoxurus
        Paradoxurus
        Paradoxurus is a genus of viverrids in one of the civet subfamilies, Paradoxurinae. There are at least six species, one of which is common over tropical Asia, while the others are less common and limited in locality:...

        • Golden Wet-zone Palm Civet (Paradoxurus aureus) (F. Cuvier, 1822)
        • Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus hermaphroditus)
        • Jerdon's Palm Civet (Paradoxurus jerdoni)
        • Sri Lankan Brown Palm Civet (Paradoxurus montanus) (Kelaart, 1852)
        • Golden Dry-zone Palm Civet (Paradoxurus stenocephalus) (sp. nov.)
        • Golden Palm Civet
          Golden Palm Civet
          The Golden Palm Civet is a civet endemic to Sri Lanka. It is a smallish civet and has a coat that is a golden brown or dark brown in color. The hair on the back of its neck grows reverse grain, from the shoulders toward the head...

           (Paradoxurus zeylonensis)
    • Subfamily Hemigalinae
      Hemigalinae
      Hemigalinae is a subfamily of Viverridae.* Subfamily Hemigalinae** Genus Chrotogale*** Owston's Palm Civet ** Genus Cynogale*** Otter Civet ** Genus Diplogale...

      • Genus Chrotogale
        • Owston's Palm Civet
          Owston's Palm Civet
          Owston's palm civet is a civet that lives in the forests and wooded lowland river basins of northern Vietnam, northern Laos and southern China....

           (Chrotogale owstoni)
      • Genus Cynogale
        • Otter Civet
          Otter Civet
          The Otter Civet, Cynogale bennettii, is a semi-aquatic civet found in forests, primarily lowland, near rivers and swampy areas of the Thai-Malay Peninsula, Sumatra, and Borneo. An additional population, only known from single specimen, occurs in northern Vietnam...

           (Cynogale bennettii)
      • Genus Diplogale
        • Hose's Palm Civet
          Hose's Palm Civet
          The Hose's palm civet , also known as the Hose's civet , is a civet found in Borneo. It is named after zoologist Charles Hose and is a member of the family Viverridae...

           (Diplogale hosei)
      • Genus Hemigalus
        • Banded Palm Civet
          Banded Palm Civet
          The banded palm civet is a civet found in the tall forests of Burma, Indonesia, Malaysia, and Thailand. Though it lives in the forests, it spends much of its time on the ground....

           (Hemigalus derbyanus)
    • Subfamily Viverrinae
      Viverrinae
      The subfamily Viverrinae is the largest of the four subfamilies within the family Viverridae, containing the genets, some of the Asian civets, and the two African linsangs for a total of 22 species, comprising two-thirds of the Viverrids....

      • Genus Civettictis
        • African Civet
          African Civet
          The African Civet is the largest representative of the African Viverridae. It is the sole member of its genus. African Civets can be found from coast to coast across sub-Saharan Africa. They are primarily nocturnal and spend the day sleeping in dense vegetation...

           (Civettictis civetta)
      • Genus Genetta
        • Abyssinian Genet
          Abyssinian Genet
          The Abyssinian Genet is a species of genet. It is native to Ethiopia, Eritrea, Somalia, Sudan, and Djibouti, and inhabits moorland, grasslands and sub-desert areas. The Abyssinian genet is rated "Least Concern" by the IUCN Red List. There are no subspecies of the Abyssinian genet....

           (Genetta abyssinica)
        • Angolan Genet
          Angolan Genet
          The Angolan Genet , is a mammal from the Carnivora order, related to civets and linsangs. It is one of fourteen species of genets...

           (Genetta angolensis)
        • Bourlon's Genet
          Bourlon's Genet
          The Bourlon's Genet is a a mammal from the Carnivora order, one of fourteen species of genets. It is found in rainforest habitat in Guinea, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia and Sierra Leone....

           (Genetta bourloni)
        • Crested Servaline Genet (Genetta cristata)
        • Common Genet
          Common Genet
          The Common Genet , also known as the Small-spotted Genet or European Genet, is a mammal from the order Carnivora, related to civets and linsangs. The most far-ranging of all the fourteen species of genet, it can be found throughout Africa, parts of the Middle East, and in Europe in Spain, Portugal,...

           (Genetta genetta)
        • Johnston's Genet
          Johnston's Genet
          Johnston's Genet is a mammal from the Carnivora order, related to civets and linsangs in the family Viverridae. It is native to the African countries of Côte d'Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea and Liberia...

           (Genetta johnstoni)
        • Rusty-spotted Genet (Genetta maculata)
        • Pardine Genet
          Pardine Genet
          The Pardine Genet , is a mammal from the Carnivora order that is related to linsangs and civets. It is found in a wide range of habitats in Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Senegal, and Sierra Leone....

           (Genetta pardina)
        • Aquatic Genet
          Aquatic Genet
          The Aquatic Genet is a carnivoran mammal from the north-east of the Democratic Republic of the Congo. The Aquatic Genet is related to civets and linsangs. Unlike other genets who have handsomely spotted coats and ringed tails, the Aquatic Genet has a plain, rusty-coloured coat and a black tail,...

           (Genetta piscivora)
        • King Genet
          King Genet
          The King genet is a species of carnivorous mammal of the family Viverridae. It is distributed within west central Africa, close to the equator, and is native to the Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Liberia, Ghana, and Côte d'Ivoire. The King genet is often considered to be conspecific...

           (Genetta poensis)
        • Servaline Genet
          Servaline Genet
          The Servaline Genet is a species of carnivore of the family Viverridae, related to civets and linsangs. Like all genets, it is outwardly feline, although not a close relative of the cat family.- Subspecies :...

           (Genetta servalina)
        • Haussa Genet
          Haussa Genet
          The Haussa Genet , also known as Thierry's Genet, is a carnivoran mammal, related to linsangs and civets. It lives in the savannah zone of Africa from Senegal to area south of Lake Chad....

           (Genetta thierryi)
        • Cape Genet
          Cape Genet
          The Cape Genet , also known as the Blotched Genet, Large-spotted Genet or muskeljaatkat in Afrikaans, is a carnivore mammal, related to the African Linsang and to the civets. It can be found in Africa from Senegal to Somalia, and south to Namibia and South Africa, though it is absent from the...

           (Genetta tigrina)
        • Giant Forest Genet (Genetta victoriae)
      • Genus Poiana
        • Leighton's Linsang
          Leighton's Linsang
          Leighton's Linsang was formerly classified as Poiana richardsonii liberiensis and considered a subspecies of the African Linsang....

           (Poiana leightoni)
        • African Linsang
          African Linsang
          The African Linsang is a species of linsang in the family Viverridae. It is endemic to Cameroon, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, and the Republic of the Congo. The African linsang is a largely arboreal creature...

           (Poiana richardsonii)
      • Genus Viverra
        Viverra
        Viverra is a genus of civet commonly found in Southeast Asia.-Species:* Malabar Large-spotted Civet * Large-spotted Civet * Malayan Civet * Large Indian Civet...

        • Malabar Large-spotted Civet (Viverra civettina)
        • Large-spotted Civet
          Large-spotted Civet
          The Large-spotted Civet is a species of civet. It is found in Asia. The rare Malabar large-spotted civet is usually considered a subspecies....

           (Viverra megaspila)
        • Malayan Civet (Viverra tangalunga)
        • Large Indian Civet
          Large Indian Civet
          The Large Indian Civet is a member of the Viverrid family native to Southeast Asia. In 2008, the IUCN classified the species as Near Threatened, mainly because of the known heavy trade as wild meat.- Characteristics :...

           (Viverra zibetha)
      • Genus Viverricula
        • Small Indian Civet
          Small Indian Civet
          The Small Indian Civet or Rasse is a species of civet found across south and South-east Asia as well as in the Indonesian archipelago. The Assamese name Johamaal refers to its glandular odour similar to a scented rice variety called Joha...

           (Viverricula indica)

Civet/Genet Hybrids

In The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication
The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication
The Variation of Animals and Plants under Domestication is a book written by Charles Darwin that was first published in January 1868.A large proportion of the book contains detailed information on the domestication of animals and plants but it also contains in Chapter XXVII a description of...

Charles Darwin noted: "The Genetta has bred both here and in the Jardin des Plantes, and produced hybrids." Others have also reported civet/genet hybrids.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
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