28 July 2017
A Civetry

This large mound of dung has been left behind by a Civet. Unbelievably, civet poos are enormous. They are often larger than even a lion or hyena’s dung. This can make them quite difficult to identify if it were not for the communal toilet they use known as a civetry.

Details of a civetry

Civets are omnivores, feeding off berries, roots, insects, birds, carrion, eggs, reptiles and other vegetation. They are also, amazingly enough, able to eat toxic invertebrates such as millipedes. If you examine a civet’s dung carefully, these hard and indigestible exoskeletons will be found throughout the skat. They can last for months intact in the civetry. The civetry will very often form part of a civet’s territorial boundaries. They are very protective of their toilets and will mark these areas with their anal glands. This gives the whole site a strong and pungent smell.

Civets are nocturnal animals and are incredibly secretive. They forage and scavenge once the sun has set, and go about marking their territory by rubbing a secretion from their perineal glands on trees or shrubs. In the past, researchers have relied heavily on what is found at a  civetry of these elusive Civet cats. Civetrys are used in order to determine more information on their behavior and habits, their dung really does tell a story.

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