Alabama Gazette - The people's voice of reason

Common Genet

 

November 1, 2018

Common genets, also called small-spotted genets, are related to civets. They are common in Africa, and a few are found in western Europe. Genets live alone or in pairs, resting by day in sheltered spots or abandoned burrows. They feed at night, hunting for small animals in a range of habitats, from dense forest to open grassland. They climb trees to prey on roosting birds or silently stalk victims on the ground. These genets are adept at climbing and hunting off the ground. Their sharp claws which are not always evident - help them to maintain their balance and grab prey. They can fall victim to snakes such as pythons, as well as owls and leopards. Common genets become active at dusk, as reflected by their large eyes. A row of black erectile hairs is usually present along the middle of the back of the common genet. The tail has black and white rings. A genet's claws can be withdrawn inside the paws, just like a cat's. They look rather like cats, and have a similar vocabulary of sounds - able to meow, purr and hiss. Genets mainly communicate by sound and smell, but also use their tails to signal. In warmer parts, genets breed during the wet season, with a few females managing to produce two litters each year. Genets are found throughout Africa in wooded areas, being the most widely distributed species of genet. Also present in mainland Western Europe and the Middle East. They live mainly in forests and grasslands. They weigh between 2.2 - 7 lb and are between 32 - 42 inches in body length and tail are of similar lengths; about 6 inches with tall. Their normal food source for this Carnivorous is feeding on invertebrates, rodents, birds and their eggs, amphibians and reptiles. The Genet can live up to 10 - 13 years in captivity. They have a black stripe runs down the centre of the back with spotted patterning. This species is also called the small-spotted genet, because of the size of its spots. This can vary from silver to yellowish-grey, depending on the individual. The tail is marked with alternating light and dark rings, and does not narrow significantly along its length. Genets will investigate tree holes in search of possible prey, using their long tails to help them maintain their balance.

 

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