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Leopard Gifts

The leopard is an agile and stealthy predator. Although smaller than the other members of the Panthera genus, the leopard is still able to take large prey given its massive skull that well utilizes powerful jaw muscles. Leopards show a great diversity in size. Males are about 30% larger than females. Leopards show a great diversity in physical appearance, particularly because of the wide variations in color coat and rosette patterns.

Learn about Leopards

The leopard is a species of big cat belonging to the taxonomic family felidae and known by the scientific name of Panthera pardus. It occupies a large range, being found in Siberia, much of Asia, the Middle East, and sub-Saharan Africa. The leopard cannot be found consistently throughout its range; it has become regionally extinct in a number of Middle Eastern, North African, and Asian countries, and populations are fragmented throughout its range.

As its large range suggests, the leopard is a highly adaptable animal, capable of thriving in a variety of climates and ecosystems. Impressively, the leopard can thrive in terrains as disparate as deserts and rainforests.

Being the smallest of the big cats of the genus panthera, the leopard, on average, measures between 35 and 65 inches in length, excluding its 24 to 43 inch-long tail, and 18 to 31 inches in height at the shoulder. Female leopards can weigh between 51 and 132 pounds, while male leopards can weigh between 66 and 201 pounds. Leopards can vary in size by subspecies.

The leopard is well-known for its coloration, which is normally a light yellow or dark golden color featuring a black "leopard pattern," or a series of black markings called rosettes as well as solid black spots across the coat. The color and pattern of a leopard varies by habitat, and each leopard's spots are unique. Most leopards have softer fur on their undersides that is lighter in color than the rest of its fur.

Leopards are aggressive predators and opportunistic hunters. The leopard's diet is therefore very inclusive, in addition to being subject to regional variety due to the leopard's scattered range. Unlike many large predators, leopards will will consume prey as small as insects, as well as hunting and eating animals several times the leopard's size.

The leopard's function as a powerful and successful predator is facilitated by its remarkable physical abilities. It is capable of running at a speed as fast as 36 miles per hour, and is incredibly agile, making it very effective at climbing trees. It has a large skull and powerful jaw that allow it to grip very large prey in its mouth, and it strong and limber enough to carry such prey with it as it climbs a tree. These abilities are complemented by the leopard's remarkable stealth.

While the leopard's bite is its primary weapon, allowing it to strangle its prey quickly and effectively, its claws are also an impressive weapon. The leopard has retractable, razor-sharp claws at its disposal. Each leopard has five claws on each front foot and four claws on each back foot. It uses its claws largely to aid it in climbing trees.

The leopard is a solitary creature. Each leopard has a territory called a home range, which can measure about six square miles for females and between 12 and 30 square miles for males, or perhaps even more. Female leopards' home ranges have been observed to become even smaller when the female is caring for a cub.The home ranges of male leopards rarely overlap, though the ranges of male and female leopards may overlap.

Leopard Gifts

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