/serr"veuhl/, n., pl. servals, (esp. collectively) serval.
a long-limbed, nocturnal African cat, Felis serval, about the size of a bobcat, having a tawny coat spotted with black: now rare in many former habitats.
[1765-75; < NL < Pg (lobo) cerval lynx, lit., staglike (wolf) < LL cervalis deerlike, equiv. to L cerv(us) stag + -alis -AL1]

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Long-limbed cat (Felis serval) of sub-Saharan Africa found in grass-and bush-covered country near water.

It has a long neck and large, cupped ears. It is 32–40 in. (80–100 cm) long, has an 8–12-in. (20–30-cm) tail, stands about 20 in. (50 cm), and may weigh over 30 lbs (15 kg). Its long coat is yellowish to reddish brown above and whitish below, with black spots or stripes; there are some all-black servals in Kenya.

Serval (Felis serval)

Christina Loke
Photo Researchers

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 (Felis serval), long-limbed cat, family Felidae, found in Africa south of the Sahara, especially in grass- and bush-covered country near water. A swift, agile cat, the serval climbs and leaps very well. It is a nocturnal hunter preying on birds and small mammals such as rodents and hares.

      The serval is a slender cat with a long neck, small head, and large, slightly cupped ears. The adult is 80 to 100 centimetres (32 to 40 inches) long, the tail accounting for an additional 20–30 cm. It stands about 50 cm at the shoulder and weighs about 15 kilograms (33 pounds). The coat is typically long and whitish on the underparts and yellowish to reddish brown above, liberally marked with black spots and stripes. These bold markings are replaced by smaller spots or specks on some individuals, which are known as servaline cats and were once considered a distinct species (Felis brachyura or servalina). All-black individuals are found in some populations, especially those from the high country of Kenya.

      The female serval normally bears a litter of two to four kittens; the gestation period has been given as 68 to 74 days.

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Universalium. 2010.

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  • serval — SERVÁL s.m. (zool.) Pisică mare din Africa, căutată pentru blana sa. [< fr. serval, cf. port. cerval]. Trimis de LauraGellner, 08.09.2005. Sursa: DN  SERVÁL s. m. mic mamifer carnivor nocturn din Africa, cu coada scurtă, pentru blana sa… …   Dicționar Român

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