The African Palm Civet is not of the civets but has it’s own family Nandiniidae. It is closely related to Civets but the evolutionary divergence occurred between them even before the Civets(Viverridae) and the Cats(Felidae) diverged from each other 45 million years ago. In technical-ese, they are different because the hollow structures that enclose the middle and inner ear are not turned into bone. This is unlike the Civets, primates or lemurs.
It is a small mammal, with short legs, small ears, a body resembling a cat, and a tail about it’s body length. Adults usually weigh 1.70 to 2.10 kg (3.7 to 4.6 lb). They mostly subsist on a diet of fruit and berries with some insects, rodents and eggs thrown in for good measure.
The animal is generally solitary and nocturnal with no difference between the size of the sexes. Little is clear about their courting habits but we know from field research that usually twins are born in a litter. They have a very wide range in spanning the whole of the sub-saharan range from the mouth of Congo to Tanzania.
Fortunately, their environment is very suited to their behavior and they are not endangered. They smell fruity and the scent glands were used in perfumes for a while. However, the practice has been stopped now although these pretty creatures are sometimes kept as pets. There is little danger to them in their range other than being part of the bushmeat trade. It is there that secretive nature comes in really handy.