The World Of The Viverids

The World is filled with an abundance of fauna. But, we only talk about the big ones like whales, lions and tigers who steal the spotlight all the time. But today, I’ll be talking about a specific group of animals who are pretty unknown to the wider public they are known as viverrids.

Who are viverrids?

Viverrids or Viverridae are a genus of small to medium-sized animals which comprise up to 33 subspecies spread across Asia and Africa. The term viverrid was termed by John Edward Gray in 1821 and later redefined by Reginald Pollock based on the feet structure and scent glands of these animals.

Animals such as civets, genets come under this category.

Here are some of the ones I’ll be talking about.

Asian Palm Civet (Paradoxurus Hermaphroditus) Class: Mammalia

Asian Palm Civet pic courtesy: AZ

Ever heard of Kopi Luwak, it is the most expensive coffee in the world ranging from around $35 to-100 in the United States. But do you know how it's made, it's generally made from the partially or fully digested coffee beans eaten by the Asian Palm Civet and after it defecates the beans are washed thoroughly and are processed after which they are roasted and ground for usage. The one's who came up with this idea were the Indonesians as during colonial year's the locals weren't allowed to pick coffee cherries from the trees. After they realised that the Civet eats the best cherries and defecates the seeds of the coffee, the locals washed and processed the seeds and ground them for their use.

Civets are small animals that generally reside in the continents of Asia and Africa. They are generally small omnivores who feed on small rodents, insects and fruits. They live in forests but can be found in logged areas. They are solitary animals that are only found in pairs when mating seasons is near. They have a lifespan of 15-20 years.

Binturong (Arctictis binturong) Class: Mammalia

Binturong pic courtesy:

Binturong also called Bearcat are species native to the forests of South-East Asia and are famously known to have a smell resembling popcorn. They are arboreal creatures and like to spend time on the tree canopy. They are omnivores who eat fruits, insects and small rodents. They are active during day and night, they use their tails to communicate with other binturongs. For self defence they usually bark and snarl on predators however, if they won’t they’ll use their powerful jaws to attack. They are known to have a lifespan of over 25 years. They are seed dispersers who feed on fruits and defecates them in the ground.

Cape Genet ( Genetta tigrina) Class: Mammalia

Cape Genet pic courtesy

Cape Genet are endemic to South Africa’s western cape and Lesotho. They’re ash grey in color with brown irregular spots and have a black stipes along their spine . They’re omnivores feeding on small rodents, insects and fruits. They’re both terrestrial and arboreal, mostly venturing out at night. They are also opportunistic scavengers who tend to scavenge fish on the beach. They are known to eat grass to aid with digestion. They are pretty abundant and are known to hunt on livestock as well which is the only threat to Cape genets. They have a lifespan of 15 years in captivity.

Central African Oyan ( Poiana richardsonii) Class Mammalia

Central African Oyan pic courtesy:

Central African Oyans are endemic to West Africa and are arboreal creatures. They are long and slender with males being larger than females, with its fur being yellowish red. They’re found on forest canopy and have never been recorded on the forest floor. They are nocturnal and feed on insects and small rodents. They are under threat due to deforestation. Their lifespan is expected to be around 5 years.

If you like what I write please like and share this blog with your fellow animal lovers. As always stay safe and take it easy 😊😎



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Abhidyu Ajila

A zoology student who talks animals, conservation, evolution and geography