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The Caracal, also called Persian lynx or African lynx (Caracal caracal, sometimes Felis caracal), is a fiercely territorial medium-sized cat. Caracals are labeled as small cats, but are the heaviest of all small cats, as well as the fastest. Males typically weigh about 13-18 kg, while females are smaller. Recent DNA research has shown that the Caracal is not a close relative of lynxes at all, but is instead related to the Serval. The Caracal is 65 cm in length (about 2 ft), plus 30 cm tail (about 1 foot). It has longer legs and a slimmer appearance than a lynx. The colour of the fur is variable: it may be wine-red, grey or sand-coloured. Melanistic (black) caracals also occur. Young caracals bear reddish spots on the underside; adults do not have markings except for black spots above the eyes. The most conspicuous feature of the caracal are its long, tufted black ears, which also explain the origin of its name – karakulak, Turkish for "black ear". Their ears are controlled by 20 different muscles to help them find their prey. The tufts of fur help pinpoint their prey.
Caracals are distributed over Africa and West Asia. Their habitat is dry steppes and semi-deserts, but also include woodlands, savanna, and scrub forest. They are solitary, or paired, territorial cats. A caracal may survive without drinking for a long period—the water demand is satisified with the body fluids of the prey. It hunts at night (but in colder seasons also in the daytime) for rodents and hares; rarely it may even attack a gazelle, a small antelope or a young ostrich. They are picky eaters, and discard the internal organs of the mammals they catch, partially pluck the fur off of hyraxes and larger kills, and avoid eating hair by shearing meat neatly from the skin. But they will eat the feathers of small birds and are tolerant of rotten meat. They are most well-known for their skill with hunting birds; a caracal is able to snatch a bird in flight, sometimes more than one at a time. Caracals can jump and climb exceptionally well, which enables them to catch hyraxes better than probably any other carnivore. Their life expectancy in the wild is 12 years, or 17 years in captivity. Since they are also surprisingly easy to tame, they have been used as hunting cats in Iran and India.
Because they are so easily tamed, caracals are sometimes kept as pets (especially in the United States), and are said to adapt easily to living with humans. They are often viewed as vermin by farmers in Africa because they frequently climb over fences to eat chickens and other poultry.
Caracals are almost impossible to see in the wild, not because there are very few of them, but because they hide extremely well. Game drives in countries such as Kenya and Botswana widely encounter other animals, but a sighting of a caracal is extremely rare.
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|Altered Image #2|
Sharpen, contrast and toned
|Using Photoshop Elements - |
1. Selected only the area of the face and ears, not including or beyond the edges. Feathered 10. Sharpen tool once only. Same area lightened and contrast up a touch.
2. Selected eye area only and repeated above a second time, feathered 5.
3. Finally selected an area of the caracal's coat in the front of the image, feather 10 and then darkened a touch. I did this as this area was a little bright and distracted from the primary area of interest, the face.
Hope you find this of interest or use.
|Altered Image #1|
I applied PS CS2 smart sharpen with the settings 100,1.
Please let me know what you think.