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A civet is a small, lithe-bodied, mostly nocturnal mammal native to tropical Asia and Africa, especially the tropical forests. The term civet applies to over a dozen different mammal species. Most of the species diversity is found in southeast Asia. The most well-known civet species is the African civet, Civettictis civetta, which historically has been the main species from which was obtained a musky scent used in perfumery. The word civet may also refer to the distinctive musky scent produced by the animals.
Civets are also called "toddycats" in English and "musang" in Malay. The latter may lead to some confusion as "musang" also refers to foxes, but civets are more commonly encountered by humans.