who lives in Africa’s savannas south of the Sahara. The funnel-shaped “giant spoons”, whose inner edges almost meet at the apex, indicate a particularly keen hearing. In fact, the serval’s hearing ability is exceptionally good.
When hunting, the serval prefers to roam through dense tangles of plants – grass as high as a man or all kinds of undergrowth. In such terrain, where you can hardly see beyond the tip of your nose, “super ears” are of course a helpful thing.
With them, the serval is able to perceive even the faintest noises – such as a rodent rattling in front of its burrow or a bird scurrying on the ground. Unseen, he can then sneak up close to the “source of noise” and surprise his victim with a well-aimed sentence. The serval often knocks out rodents with two or three hard blows of its front paws, only then does the killing bite occur.
In addition to the large ears, the greatly elongated, extremely flexible front paws are a striking body feature of the serval. On his forays he often uses them to scan rodent burrows for residents stuck in them, quickly hooks them with his claws and pulls them out. Here, too, his high-performance hearing is of great benefit. Through the earth, he can locate the animals digging in their tunnels and therefore knows where it is worth trying to “fish”.
Serval children are pronounced nest stools. They spend their first four to five weeks of life well protected in an abandoned aardvark burrow, between rocks or in thick bushes. Only then do they venture out and go on their first excursions with their mother. In captivity, servals can live up to 20 years.
Head torso length: 70 – 100 cm
Tail length: 30- 40 cm
Weight: 7 – 18 kg
Life expectancy: 20 Years
Habitat: open savannah, wet areas at the edge of swamps or lakes
Species: not endangered