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Leopards are graceful and powerful big cats closely related to lions, tigers,
and jaguars. They live
in sub-Saharan Africa, northeast Africa, Central Asia,
India, and
China. However, many of their
populations are endangered,
especially outside of Africa.
Leopards can also hunt from trees, where their spotted coats allow them
to blend with the leaves until they spring with a deadly pounce.
These nocturnal predators also stalk antelope, deer, and pigs by
stealthy movements in the tall grass.
Leopards are strong swimmers and very much at home in the water,
where they sometimes eat fish or crabs.
Female leopards can give birth at any time of the year. They usually have
two grayish cubs with barely visible spots. The mother hides her cubs
and moves them from one safe location to the next until they are
old enough to begin playing and learning to hunt. Cubs live with their
mothers for about two years—otherwise, leopards are solitary animals.
Most leopards are light colored with distinctive dark spots that are called rosettes,
because they resemble the shape of a rose. Black leopards, which appear to
be almost solid in color because their spots are hard to distinguish,
are commonly called black panthers. - National Geographic
Type: Mammal
Size: Head & body, 4.25 to 6.25 ft (1.3 to 1.9m)
Weight: 66 to 176 lbs (30 to 80kg)
Protection Status: Near Threatened
Size relitive to a
6 ft (2m)man:
Leopard - Panthera pardus
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