Serval - Mammals

Serval - map of occurrence


Leptailurus serval

conservation status no relevant data

Weight: males 10-16kg (22-35lb), females 8-12kg (18-26lb)
Heightt: 0.55-0.60m (1ft 10in-2ft)
Lenght: 0.65-1m (2ft 2in -3ft 2in) + tail 0.25-0.40m (11in -16in)
Lifespan: 8-10 years in the wild, up to 20 years in captivity
Gestation: 2.5 months, 2-4 cups
Range: south from Sahara except central and south Africa
Voice: high-pitched repeated cry, growl, spit, hiss
Identification resembling cheetah, but smaller with large ears and
short tail, black mutations occur in highland areas
Habitat: long grass areas near streams and marshes, scattered
bush with cover, montane grasslands

Protecting organisations:

This lithe cat, which usually sleeps the whole day in its hideout in the grass, sets out on its hunt after dark or early in the morning. Its traditional food are insects living in the grass, lizards, rodents, birds and even small antelopes. It has an interesting arsenal of hunting strategies. For example: in order to catch birds in the grass or in flight, it jumps down at them from a spot 2 m high and during this jump it is able to turn its body lighting fast 180 degrees. Another favorite strategy requires exactly knowing where its prey is in the grass several meters away. It accomplishes this by using its large ears and excellent hearing. Then the serval jumps, forming a parabola, onto its prey. The serval falls onto its prey literally from the sky; it does not jump through the grass. The prey is completely caught by surprise and has no chance. It is also capable of catching fish and frogs and does not have a problem with various fruits from bushes. The serval is easily domesticated as a kitten and can be very friendly and playful. Its coat is golden-brown with black spots about 2-3cm wide (note: these spots are not grouped into rosettes like with leopards!). Its abdomen and face are white, similar to the cheetah.

Serval (Leptailurus serval) -
Serval (Leptailurus serval) - Serval (Leptailurus serval) - Serval (Leptailurus serval) - Serval (Leptailurus serval) - Serval (Leptailurus serval) - Serval (Leptailurus serval) - Serval (Leptailurus serval) - Serval (Leptailurus serval) - Serval (Leptailurus serval) -
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camera:NIKON D200
lens:Sigma 70-200 mm F2.8 EX DG MACRO HSM
focal length:200 mm
exposure time:1/640 s
location:Masai Mara, Kenya