Leopards Facts!

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Leopard
Leopard. Rajiv Gandhi Tiger Reserve, Nagarhole, Kabini, Karnataka, India. Image credit: srikaanth.sekar CC BY-SA 2.0

Leopards Facts!

Leopard
Leopard. Rajiv Gandhi Tiger Reserve, Nagarhole, Kabini, Karnataka, India. Image credit: srikaanth.sekar CC BY-SA 2.0

Leopards are similar to the jaguar but it is smaller and more slightly built. Both the leopard and the jaguar have flower-like spots on their backs called rosettes, but the leopard’s rosettes doesn’t have a dot in the middle, and is smaller and more closely packed. The rosettes camouflage the leopard so that it is not detected by its prey.

Leopard Habitat and Speed

Snow_leopard_running
A snow leopard (Uncia uncia) running at the Cincinnati Zoo. Image credit: Mark Dumont cc2.0

Leopards are able to survive in a wide range of habitats, ranging from high mountains to deserts to rainforests. It is also renowned for its speed. It can run at speeds of up to 36 miles per hour (58 km/h) and also can leap nearly 10 feet (3 meters) vertically and 19.6 feet (6 meters) horizontally.




Leopards Swimming and Climbing

Leopard_climbs_tree
Leopard on a tree by antti.keskitalo cc2.0

Most cats are unable to swim and are averse to water, but the leopard is one of the few cats that can swim and is not scared of water. It is also known for its talent of climbing trees, even while carrying a heavy prey, sometimes prey larger and heavier than itself. The reason it sometimes takes its prey up the trees is to make sure than lions or hyenas can’t steal it. The leopard often rests up in the trees and its long tail aids it to balance in narrow branches. The leopard is the most arboreal (tree dwelling) of the big cats.

Leopard Hunting Skills

Leopard_hunting_skills
Leopard about to Pounce. Image credit: gregw66 CC BY-SA 2.0

The leopard is very stealthy and in the wild this can make it very hard to track down. It is an opportunistic feeder and preys on most kinds of animals. Rather than using its sense of smell, the leopard makes use of its sight, excellent sense of hearing and its whiskers to hunt. It stealthily stalks the prey, pouncing at the final moment, biting the prey’s throat and strangling it. Leopards can survive for as long as 10 days without water while gaining the hydration it needs from its food.

Leopards are featured in the following books:
25 Most Deadly Animals in the World
25 Nocturnal Animals
101 Facts… BIG CATS!


The YouTube video below is a collection of videos about Leopards. The list of videos featured is underneath.

The Playlist:

  1. Leopards vs zebra – BBC wildlife
  2. Wild leopard hunting – BBC wildlife
  3. Leopards vs wildebeest – BBC wildlife
  4. Leopard hunts for cubs – BBC wildlife
  5. Dramatic Leopard Ambush Caught On Video – kst145lp
  6. Leopard Attacks Python in Kruger – Kruger Sightings




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