Civets are a number of viverrids of the Old World (excluding the mongoose) belonging to the family Viverridae, which also includes genets and oyans. It is also used to refer to the African palm civet and the Malagasy civet, which belong to the families Nandiniidae and Eupleridae. Their name refers to their thick musk, which at one time was used for a hand lotion among wealthy Europeans and is still used in perfumes.
Civets's appearances are somewhat weasel-like with a long bushy tail and a striking fur pattern of gray or yellowish-gray with black stripes and spots. Civets are sometimes referred to as "civet cats" but that term may also be applied more generally to ringtails and spotted skunks.
One of the specific kinds of civets is the African Civet.
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