The leopard is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera, a member of the cat family, Felidae. It occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa, in some parts of Western and Central Asia, Southern Russia, and on the Indian subcontinent to Southeast and East Asia
Compared to other wild cats, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. Its fur is marked with rosettes. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar (Panthera onca), but has a smaller, lighter physique, and its rosettes are generally smaller, more densely packed and without central spots. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known as black panthers.
The leopard is distinguished by its well-camouflaged fur, opportunistic hunting behavior, broad diet, strength, and its ability to adapt to a variety of habitats ranging from rainforest to steppe, including arid and montane areas. It can run at speeds of up to 58 km/h (36 mph). The earliest known leopard fossils excavated in Europe are estimated 600,000 years old, dating to the late Early Pleistocene. Leopard fossils were also found in Japan and Sumatra.
It’s too difficult to decide whether leopards are treacherous forest animals, or they’re some adorable wild creatures and natural heritage of earth. We must respect their existence as nature has its own reason for its creation.
1. Leopards are big cats. Of course, they are more dangerous than the cat we consider as pets.
2. You can consider it as quite a graceful animal. Their average height is usually 28 inches.
3. This animal is very adaptive by nature as it can sustain in any type of environment. Also, it is a very successful hunter.
4. You may notice quite a big variation in the color and length of its fur. The leopards living in the cold countries usually have fur that is much longer and grayer.
5. The leopards from the rain-forest have golden fur. So, the distinctive color and type of coat generally depends on the region they belong to.
6. Do you know what they eat? They are fond of fish, reptiles, carcasses, warthogs, hares, antelopes and rodents.
7. Leopards are pretty tactical and elusive animals. They are quick and stealthy in hunting.
8. They prefer to hunt in the night. It’s interesting to know that each leopard has its identified hunting territory. They mark it with their claws and urine. They don’t like invading the hunting range of others.
9. Female leopards leave a unique scent and rub their body against the trees to leave her smell there as an indication that they are ready to mate.
10. Female leopard gives birth to two or three cubs at a time. They can give birth at any point of time of the year. The cubs generally live with their mothers up to the age of two.