#5 out of our 6 featured CATS: powerful LEOPARD:
The LEOPARDis one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera. The leopard occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. Compared to other wild cats, the leopard has relatively short legs, a long body with a large skull and is similar in appearance to the . Its fur is marked with small densely packed . Both leopards and jaguars that are are known as .
Lifespan: 12 – 17 years
Speed: 58 km/h (Running)
Scientific name: Panthera pardus
Mass: Male adult; 37 – 90kg (average ~60kg), Female adult; 28 – 60kg (average ~38kg)
Height: Male adult at shoulder: 60 – 70 cm, Female adult at shoulder: 57 – 64 cm
Usually, leopards are larger in areas where they are at the top of the food chain, without competitive restriction from larger predators such as the lion and tiger.
Did you know:
Adaptivity: The leopard is distinguished by its well-camouflaged fur, hunting behaviour, broad diet, and incredible strength (which it uses to move heavy carcasses into trees), as well as its ability to adapt to various habitats ranging from rainforest to steppe, including arid and montane areas.
Diet: Leopards eat small hoof-stock such as gazelle, impala, deer and wildebeast. On occasion, they may also hunt monkeys, rodents and birds. They often bring their prey up into the branches of a tree to eat it and protect it from other predators and scavengers.
Black Panther: A melanistic leopard is the scientific name for a “black panther”. While these black cats may look spotless, if you look closely in good daylight, the leopard rosettes can be seen. It is a genetic mutation that causes the dark colouring which may be a beneficial evolutionary trait that improves a leopard’s ability to stay concealed during nocturnal hunts.
Climbing trees: Leopards are solitary (no match against a pride of lions or clan of hyenas) and rarely the largest predator in their area, therefore it is crucial for their young to learn climbing at a young age. This will keep them save and benefit them later to drag their kills into high trees to be stored and keep safe from predators like lions & hyenas.
Leopards have very strong and gripping claws so that they can climb almost a straight cliff, but even more impressive, they can jump up to 3m vertically!
Strong swimmers: Leopards are unlike most other big cats, surprisingly strong swimmers and don’t mind the water. This might be cause of their adaptivity to flourish and survive in different types of habitats
Vulnerability: The leopard is listed as due to and fragmentation and are declining in large parts of the global range. Leopards are hunted illegally, and their body parts are smuggled in the for medicinal practices and decoration. Their population numbers are secret to keep them safe.