Viverrids | Viverridae

Viverridae is a family comprised of 38 species of small to medium sized carnivorous mammals with a long tail. Viverridae typically have bands, stripes, or spots adorning their bodies, retractable claws, and glands capable of producing a foul odor to ward off enemies. Viverrids are commonly called civets or genets and seem to have originated from Madagascar where there are quite a few native species. These carnivores tend to be nocturnal and many civets hunt small vertebrate, insects, worms, and mollusks. Despite there being a generally large number of existing genets, there is not much known about the habits of these creatures.

What is the largest viverrid?

The two largest species of viverrids are the African civet and the fossa of Madagascar. Both of these species can reach a weigh of 44 lbs (20 kg). The African Civet can reach a length of between 2.2 to 2.8 feet (0.67 – 0.85 m). The Fossa of Madagascar typically reaches a length of 2.4 ft (0.73 m).

What are viverrids?

The Viverridae family is made up by 35 species of small Old-World mammals. These viverrids include the civet, fossa, binturong, genet, and linsang. Viverrids are typically medium-sized with long bodies and short legs. Their weight typically ranges between 2.2 – 30.86 lbs (1 kg to 14 kg).

Where do viverrids live?

Viverrids typically live in forests and dense vegetation. Viverrids are native to Southern Europe, Africa, Asia, as well as Indonesia and the Philippines. Viverrids live in diverse habitats ranging from rain forests to woodlands, savannas, and mountains. Some viverrids are mainly arboreal, some are terrestrial, and some species are aquatic.

Viverrids Guides
Browse through our curated Viverrids Guides for additional categorizations, tips, details, variations, styles, and histories of Viverrids. Guides provide additional insights into the unique properties and shared relationships between elements.
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15.75”-20.5” | 40-52 cm
7.5”-9.8” | 19-25 cm
26.4”-35” | 67-89 cm (Body)
15.4-44.1 lb | 7-20 kg
15-28 years
African Civet
52.000
25.000
89.000
20.000
28.00
10450
3D
African Civet
6.7”-7.9” | 17-20 cm
3.5”-4.3” | 9-11 cm
17.3”-19.7” | 44-50 cm (Body)
3.1-3.3 lb | 1.4-1.5 kg
9-20 years
Aquatic Genet
20.000
11.000
50.000
1.500
20.00
70
3D
Aquatic Genet
11.4”-13.8” | 29-35 cm
5.5”-6.9” | 14-17.5 cm
18.9”-23.2” | 48-59 cm (Body)
2.9-6.8 lb | 1.3-3.1 kg
15-25 years
Asian Palm Civet
35.000
17.500
59.000
3.100
25.00
13900
3D
Asian Palm Civet
7.9”-11” | 20-28 cm
3.1”-4.3” | 8-11 cm
16.1”-22” | 41-56 cm (Body)
2.2-6.6 lb | 1-3 kg
11-16 years
Banded Palm Civet
28.000
11.000
56.000
3.000
16.00
1000
3D
Banded Palm Civet
Binturong
119400
13.4”-21.25” | 34-54 cm
10.2”-15.75” | 26-40 cm
23.6”-37.8” | 60-96 cm (Body)
19.8-52.9 lb | 9-24 kg
10-27 years
Binturong
54.000
40.000
96.000
24.000
27.00
119400
3D
Binturong
9.6”-13.8” | 24.5-35 cm
5.3”-6.7” | 13.5-17 cm
16.9”-23.6” | 43-60 cm (Body)
3.3-7.1 lb | 1.5-3.2 kg
8-23 years
Common Genet
35.000
17.000
60.000
3.200
23.00
4000
3D
Common Genet
Hyena
139000
38.0” | 97 cm
47.0”-59.0” | 120-150 cm
110-190 lb | 50-86 kg
25 years
Hyena
97.000
150.000
86.000
25.00
139000
3D
Hyena
4.9”-6.3” | 12.5-16 cm
3.3”-4.1” | 8.5-10.5 cm
11.8”-15” | 30-38 cm (Body)
1.1-1.5 lb | .5-.7 kg
9-16 years
West African Oyan
16.000
10.500
38.000
0.700
16.00
60
3D
West African Oyan
Common Genet (Genetta genetta)
Comparison illustration of the size of a Common Genet to other species of Viverrids

The Common Genet, (Genetta genetta) is a small viverrid species known for its resourceful and arboreal activities. The Common Genet has a slender body that is covered by a dense pale grey fur that has various black markings and a long striped tail. The Common Genet is native to Africa within the north of the Sahara and the savanna zones south of the Sahara. The diet of the Common Genet consists of small mammals, lizards, birds, amphibians, and centipedes. Its lifespan ranges between 13 to 34 years in captivity, 8 years in the wild, and it is not in danger of extinction.

The Common Genet has a body length in the range of 16.9”-23.6” (43-60 cm) and total weight of 3.3-7.1 lb (1.5-3.2 kg). The Common Genet has a body height between 9.6”-13.8” (24.5-35 cm), body width of 5.3”-6.7” (13.5-17 cm), and tail length of 13”-20.5” (33-52 cm). The typical lifespan of the Common Genet is between 8-23 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Common Genet in various poses with dimensions
The Common Genet, (Genetta genetta) is a small viverrid species known for its resourceful and arboreal activities. The Common Genet has a slender body that is covered by a dense pale grey fur that has various black markings and a long striped tail. The Common Genet is native to Africa.

The Common Genet has a body length in the range of 16.9”-23.6” (43-60 cm) and total weight of 3.3-7.1 lb (1.5-3.2 kg). The Common Genet has a body height between 9.6”-13.8” (24.5-35 cm), body width of 5.3”-6.7” (13.5-17 cm), and tail length of 13”-20.5” (33-52 cm). The typical lifespan of the Common Genet is between 8-23 years.

Scaled collection of drawings of Common Genet in various poses with dimensions
Common Genet (Genetta genetta)
Height:
9.6”-13.8” | 24.5-35 cm
Width:
5.3”-6.7” | 13.5-17 cm
Length:
16.9”-23.6” | 43-60 cm (Body)
Depth:
Weight:
3.3-7.1 lb | 1.5-3.2 kg
Area:

Tail Length: 13”-20.5” | 33-52 cm

Scientific Name
Genetta genetta
Lifespan
8-23 years

Drawings include:

Common Genet side view, front

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African Civet (Civettictis civetta)
Comparison drawing of the African Civet compared to other Viverrids

The African Civet (Civettictis civetta) is a large viverrid that lives in woodlands and secondary forests in sub-Saharan Africa. Its characteristic coloration is black and white with blotches that cover its entire body in a cryptic pattern. Black bands surround the eyes, similar to those of a raccoon. Its hindquarters are disproportionately large, and it has an erectile dorsal crest. The African Civet is an omnivorous generalist, as it feeds on small vertebrates, invertebrates, eggs, carrion, and vegetable matter. It is a solitary and nocturnal mammal that spends the day sleeping in dense vegetation.

The African Civet has a body length in the range of 26.4”-35” (67-89 cm) and total weight of 15.4-44.1 lb (7-20 kg). The African Civet has a body height between 15.75”-20.5” (40-52 cm), body width of 7.5”-9.8” (19-25 cm), and tail length of 13.4”-18.5” (34-47 cm). The typical lifespan of the African Civet is between 15-28 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the African Civet
The African Civet (Civettictis civetta) is a large viverrid that lives in woodlands and secondary forests in sub-Saharan Africa. Its characteristic coloration is black and white with blotches that cover its entire body in a cryptic pattern. Black bands surround the eyes, similar to a raccoon.

The African Civet has a body length in the range of 26.4”-35” (67-89 cm) and total weight of 15.4-44.1 lb (7-20 kg). The African Civet has a body height between 15.75”-20.5” (40-52 cm), body width of 7.5”-9.8” (19-25 cm), and tail length of 13.4”-18.5” (34-47 cm). The typical lifespan of the African Civet is between 15-28 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the African Civet
African Civet (Civettictis civetta)
Height:
15.75”-20.5” | 40-52 cm
Width:
7.5”-9.8” | 19-25 cm
Length:
26.4”-35” | 67-89 cm (Body)
Depth:
Weight:
15.4-44.1 lb | 7-20 kg
Area:

Tail Length: 13.4”-18.5” | 34-47 cm

Scientific Name
Civettictis civetta
Lifespan
15-28 years

Drawings include:

African Civet side view, front

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Binturong (Arctictis binturong)
Scale illustration of an average Binturong compared to other Viverrid species

The Binturong (Arctictis binturong) is a viverrid that lives in tall forests, foothills and hills with good tree cover, and primary and secondary lowland forests in South Asia. However, as they are not very nimble, the Binturong frequently descends to the ground when moving between trees. They are stoutly built with a thick coat of coarse black hair, a bushy and prehensile tail, and a short and pointed muzzle. The ears are short and rounded and edged with white, and the feet are five-toed with strong claws and bare soles. As omnivores, the Binturong eats small mammals, fish, earthworms, insects, and fruits.

The Binturong has a body length in the range of 23.6”-37.8” (60-96 cm) and total weight of 19.8-52.9 lb (9-24 kg). The Binturong has a body height between 13.4”-21.25” (34-54 cm), body width of 10.2”-15.75” (26-40 cm), and tail length of 22”-35” (56-89 cm). The typical lifespan of the Binturong is between 10-27 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Binturong
The Binturong (Arctictis binturong) is a viverrid that lives in tall forests, foothills and hills with good tree cover, and primary and secondary lowland forests in South Asia. However, as they are not very nimble, the Binturong frequently descends to the ground when moving between trees.

The Binturong has a body length in the range of 23.6”-37.8” (60-96 cm) and total weight of 19.8-52.9 lb (9-24 kg). The Binturong has a body height between 13.4”-21.25” (34-54 cm), body width of 10.2”-15.75” (26-40 cm), and tail length of 22”-35” (56-89 cm). The typical lifespan of the Binturong is between 10-27 years.

Series of measured illustrations of the Binturong
Binturong (Arctictis binturong)
Height:
13.4”-21.25” | 34-54 cm
Width:
10.2”-15.75” | 26-40 cm
Length:
23.6”-37.8” | 60-96 cm (Body)
Depth:
Weight:
19.8-52.9 lb | 9-24 kg
Area:

Tail Length: 22”-35” | 56-89 cm

Scientific Name
Arctictis binturong
Lifespan
10-27 years

Drawings include:

Binturong side view, front

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West African Oyan (Poiana leightoni)
Comparison drawing of the West African Oyan compared to other Viverrids

The West African Oyan (Poiana leightoni) is a linsang species that lives in the Upper Guinean forests in West Africa. Physically, they have a slender and long body with an elongated head and a pointed muzzle. The fur is yellow to red-brown with dark oval spots on the neck, and small spots on the back and legs. The fur on the throat, chest, and belly are lighter in color and free from spots, and the tail has 10 to 12 dark rings. The West African Oyan’s habitat is diminishing due to the logging of tropical forests and bushmeat hunting.

The West African Oyan has a body length in the range of 11.8”-15” (30-38 cm) and total weight of 1.1-1.5 lb (.5-.7 kg). The West African Oyan has a body height between 4.9”-6.3” (12.5-16 cm), body width of 3.3”-4.1” (8.5-10.5 cm), and tail length of 13”-16.9” (33-43 cm). The typical lifespan of the West African Oyan is between 9-16 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the West African Oyan
The West African Oyan (Poiana leightoni) is a linsang species that lives in the Upper Guinean forests in West Africa. Physically, they have a slender and long body with an elongated head and a pointed muzzle. The fur is yellow to red-brown with dark oval spots on the neck, and spots on its back.

The West African Oyan has a body length in the range of 11.8”-15” (30-38 cm) and total weight of 1.1-1.5 lb (.5-.7 kg). The West African Oyan has a body height between 4.9”-6.3” (12.5-16 cm), body width of 3.3”-4.1” (8.5-10.5 cm), and tail length of 13”-16.9” (33-43 cm). The typical lifespan of the West African Oyan is between 9-16 years.

Set of scaled side and front drawings of the West African Oyan
West African Oyan (Poiana leightoni)
Height:
4.9”-6.3” | 12.5-16 cm
Width:
3.3”-4.1” | 8.5-10.5 cm
Length:
11.8”-15” | 30-38 cm (Body)
Depth:
Weight:
1.1-1.5 lb | .5-.7 kg
Area:

Tail Length: 13”-16.9” | 33-43 cm

Scientific Name
Poiana leightoni
Lifespan
9-16 years

Drawings include:

West African Oyan side view, front

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Hyena
Size comparison of a Hyena to a human man with dimensions

Hyenas are cat-like carnivorous mammals that are essential scavengers within the African ecosystem. Living together in large communal groups (clans) of up to 80, hyenas are known for feeding on the remains leftover by other predators though they are also skilled hunters of wildebeest, antelope, snakes, birds, lizards, and insects.

The average Hyena has an overall height of 38.0” (97 cm), withers height of 29.5”-33.5” (75-85 cm), and body length of 47.0”-59.0” (120-150 cm). A typical Hyena weighs between 110-190 lb (50-86 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 25 years.

Various elevation drawings of Hyenas representing positions from the side, front, back, and laying down
Hyenas are cat-like carnivorous mammals within the African ecosystem. Living together in large communal clans, hyenas are known for feeding on the remains leftover by other predators.

The average Hyena has an overall height of 38.0” (97 cm), withers height of 29.5”-33.5” (75-85 cm), and body length of 47.0”-59.0” (120-150 cm). A typical Hyena weighs between 110-190 lb (50-86 kg) and has a lifespan of roughly 25 years.

Various elevation drawings of Hyenas representing positions from the side, front, back, and laying down
Hyena
Height:
38.0” | 97 cm
Width:
Length:
47.0”-59.0” | 120-150 cm
Depth:
29.5”-33.5” | 75-85 cm
Weight:
110-190 lb | 50-86 kg
Area:
Scientific Name
Crocuta crocuta
Lifespan
25 years

Drawings include:
Hyena side profile, front, back, side (laying down)

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