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Leopard

Posted in Mammals

Leopards are the smallest of the “big cats”, which also includes lions, tigers, and jaguars.  They are usually light gold in color with black spots called ‘rosettes’.  They have short legs and a medium build.  

What-do-they-eat

Leopards are carnivores and eat mostly hooved animals like gazelle, impala, antelope and deer but also are known to eat pigs, primates and domestic livestock.  They are powerful hunters who stock their prey at night and usually drag their prey up into a nearby tree to keep it away from other predators and scavengers who would like to steal its dinner.

Where-do-they-live

Leopards have a wide range of distribution with habitats ranging from sub-Saharan Africa, West Asia, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia all the way to Siberia. In fact, they have the largest distribution of any wild cat! They thrive in forests, mountains, grassland and deserts, resting in thick brush or trees during the day and hunting at night.

What-are-their-predators

The adult leopard is a powerful opponent to any animal in its habitat. But while the mother leopard is out hunting, baby leopards are left alone and vulnerable to becoming easy prey. Hyenas, jackals, lions, tigers, snakes and birds of prey are all known to eat baby leopards.

What-are-their-defenses

Leopards have many ways to protect themselves from predators. First, they are really hard to see because blend remarkably into their environment.

Second, leopards are amazing climbers! When danger is near, leopards can run up a tree and attack its enemy from above, which is very difficult to combat.  

 

Third, leopards have incredibly sharp claws and teeth that can seriously wound or kill any attacker. As one of the more agile of the big cats, leopards can attack quickly and swiftly.

 

 

Did-you-know

 

a leopards ear can hear five times more sounds than a humans ear?

 

 

Danger-scale

 

 

Although they are very shy and prefer to stay hidden, leopards are extremely dangerous to humans.  They can out run, out swim and out climb a person and with their powerful teeth and claws, they can kill a human easily.  The good news is that leopards and humans don’t often meet up because leopards prefer to stay hidden.

 

Can-you-believe

in addition to being fast runners and outstanding climbers, leopards are also fantastic swimmers?

 

 

My-favorite-thing

about leopards is their razor-sharp claws that help them climb and eat.

 

1 Comment

  1. I love their beautiful eyes! Great job Cole!

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