Leopards can be orange with black spots or brownish black with black spots. The spots are on the cat’s skin and are unique for each animal just like our human fingerprints. This is the smallest of the great cats and resembles the Jaguar. Males range in size from 80-150 pounds and are usually larger than females which range from 62-100 pounds. Leopards have a heavy torso, thick neck, short powerful limbs and a long tail.
Baby leopards are called cubs. They usually have 1-3 babies in a litter. After they grow up, they move away from their family and live alone most of the time. In captivity leopards can live over 23 years while in the wild the average lifespan is 10-11 years.
Leopards are meat eaters. Meat eaters are also called carnivores. As with most cats they are opportunistic animals who have an extremely flexible diet. Their diet includes small creatures such as beetles, hares and birds. They also eat creatures twice their weight such as antelope, wildebeest and zebra. Leopards pull their prey into a tree where they can return nightly to feast.
These cats are from Africa and Asia. They can adapt to almost any habitat except for large deserts. In order to survive their habitat must provide food, shelter, water and sufficient space. Leopards are hunted by man for sport as well as their fur.
Leopards define their territory by scent marking, feces, and scratch marks. Communication is also through many different sounds. They grunt, growl, hiss and meow. One of the most unusual sounds is a distance call that sounds like sawing wood.
1. What physical characteristics improve the Leopard’s chances of survival?
a. Powerful limbs
b. Spotted coloration
c. Claws + teeth
d. Long tail
e. All of the above
2. What behavioral characteristics improve the leopards’ chances of survival?