One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A mammal of the civet family ("Viverridae").
- ‘African viverrids tend to be carnivorous, but the civets common to China prefer to dine on fruit, especially spiky, foul-smelling durians.’
- ‘In only two locations of H. javanicus introduction are there native or introduced herpestids, viverrids, or mustelids.’
- ‘This is also present in M. parvivorus, M. cognitus, all canids, and some procyonids, but is not present in viverrids, felids, or mustelids.’
- ‘There are, however, several other large species of Civettictis-like viverrids known from East Africa in the Plio-Pleistocene and this specimen could be related to one of them.’
- ‘Most viverrids are nocturnal hunters, feeding on small vertebrates (including carrion), insects, and other invertebrates including worms, crustaceans, and molluscs.’
Early 20th century: from modern Latin Viverridae, from Latin viverra ‘ferret’.
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