The caracal ranges across Africa and the Middle East to India. It is keenly adapted to the potentially harsh environments of savanna, semi-desert, dry woodland, arid hilly steppe, and dry mountains.
The most noticeable feature of a caracal is its long, black ear tufts, or tassels. There are many theories about the function of the ear tufts. The tufts may help keep flies out of the cat’s face or help to camouflage the caracal in tall grass by breaking up the outline of the cat’s head. However, the most widely accepted theory is that the cat twitches its ear tufts as a way to communicate with fellow caracals.
These agile cats have amazing jumping abilities, leaping up to 10 feet (3 meters) to swat a flying bird.