Mammals

Caracal

Caracal

The black tufts of hair on the ears of these wild cats explain their name, which is derived from the Turkish word karakulak. Caracals are remarkably agile, even for cats. They can jump vertically to catch small birds.

Cat

Cat

The domestic cat is now a popular pet around the world. Aside from companionship, cats are also valued as a means of curbing rodent populations. Domestication of the cat began around 9500 years ago. All domestic bloodlines descended from African wild cat stock.

Chamois

Chamois

These agile mountain goats used to be extensively hunted for their hides, which were manufactured into chamois leather used for polishing cars and glass. There are two distinct species of chamois, both found in mountainous areas of Europe.

Cheetah

Cheetah

The fastest land mammal on earth, the cheetah is able to sprint at speeds of up to 120 kph (75 mph) over short distances when pursuing prey. The cheetah has specialized muscles that provide amazing acceleration.

Chimpanzee

Chimpanzee

Regarded as our closest surviving relatives, chimpanzees stand up to 170 cm (67 in) tall on their hind legs. They live in groups, largely on the ground. Chimpanzees have a number of characteristics that were once thought to be exclusively human.

Clouded Leopard

Clouded Leopard

This is one of the least-known of the larger cats, occurring in forested areas. In spite of its size, it is a very agile climber. The clouded leopard is not a close relation of the true leopard. This shy and retiring creature has short legs.

Coati

Coati

The coati is a muscular, short-legged animal, with a long, banded tail and a pointed, mobile snout. It lives in groups of up to 40 individuals, which hunt together day and night, resting in the heat of the day. With its mobile snout, the coati probes holes.

Collared Peccary

Collared Peccary

Active during the day, collared peccaries are known locally by various other names, including javelinas and forest hogs, because of their strong body odour. Collared peccaries are not directly related to pigs and wild boars. Pigs are native to Europe, Asia and Africa.

Colobus Monkey

Colobus Monkey

The king colobus monkey lives in tropical forests that have long periods of dry weather. Such forests are supplied by seasonal rains or monsoons. West Africa has two monsoons each year. King colobus monkeys eat leaves during and following the monsoons.

Commerson's Dolphin

Commerson's Dolphin

These dolphins are the smallest of all cetaceans. It was only during the 1950s that the separate Indian Ocean population of this species was discovered. Commerson's dolphins occur relatively close to the shore, often entering coastal inlets.