Civets are small mammals native to tropical Africa and Asia. Although these animals are also know as the civet cats, they aren’t actually cats. In fact, they are more related to mongooses. Did you know they can live up to 20 years?

civets

How do civets look?

These cat-like mammals are characterized by their long body with short legs, pointy muzzles and short ears. There are 20 species of civets, all of which they vary in different colors. Moreover, the most common color is grayish with a pattern of black spots or stripes, or both. The length can go from 16 to 34 inches, while they weigh between 3,3 to 24 pounds.

civets

Where can we find civets?

They are native to sub-Saharan Africa, Madagascar, southwest corner of Europe, Southern China, South and Southeast Asia. Civets favorite habitats are woodlands and savannas. Sadly, many of these cats are faced with loss of habitat since they are considered as vulnerable species.

Feeding and hunting.

Civets are nocturnal hunters, so they like to sleep during the day, spending their time in the trees, and hunt by night. Although there are both carnivores and even herbivores among these species, even using the fruit nectar as a primarily source of energy, African civets are omnivorous. Their diet includes rats, small birds and lizards, along with fruit, eggs and roots.

The coffee.

Kopi Luwak is the world’s most expensive coffee. Guess who is deserved for the existence of it? Of course, our civets! Coffee cherries that have been eaten and partly digested, are then harvested from its fecal matter. These incredible animals digest the flesh of the coffee cherries but pass the pits (beans) inside, where stomach enzymes affect the beans, which adds to the coffee’s prized aroma and flavor.

So, these amazing cat-like mammals produce coffee that can cost up to 600 dollars in some parts of the world!

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