These nocturnal cats are beautiful, fierce, and interesting.
These cats are fast, they are ferocious hunters and they are agile climbers. They have beautiful spots and colors that camouflage them and they are carnivores.
They prefer meat like impala meat, springbuck, gazelles, warthogs, guinea fowl, and hares. They will eat rodents, fish, and dung beetles if they are hungry.
They are rather small to be one of the big cats. Let us look a little closer and see what else we can discover about them.
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How Much Does A Leopard Weigh?
The female cats weigh between 46 and 132 pounds when they are mature. The male leopards weigh between 80 and 165 pounds when they are mature.
The mother leopard carries her young for three months. When she gives birth she will usually have two or three cubs.
The newborn cubs will weigh no more than 21 ounces. They will be blind and hairless when they are born. Their mother will keep them secluded in the den she chose for them until they reach three months of age.
The mother will care for the cubs until they get to be 12 to 18 months of age. She will feed them and then systematically teach them to hunt and feed themselves.
When they reach the age of two to three years, they will be old enough to have their own families.
In the wild, the leopards live to be as old as 15 years. In zoos, many leopards have lived to be 23 years old.
One of the odd things about these cats is that they bark.
They are classified as being one roaring cats. When a leopard has something to say they vocalize by barking not roaring.
They have extremely sensitive hearing abilities. They can hear about five times better than a human can. This heightened sense of hearing allows them to hunt better at night.
When male leopards want to warn another male that they are encroaching on his territory he does not bark or roar. They make a raspy coughing noise instead.
They are Fast!
When a leopard is chasing their prey it can reach speeds of up to 36 mph.
They can jump ten feet straight up. They can also jump 20 feet forward.
Even though they are very fast they take the time to slowly stalk their prey. They crouch low and position themselves within 5 meters of the prey before they dart out and attack.
They are really fast and can catch their prey pretty easily. After they have made their kill they are so strong they can heave their kill into a tree so they can enjoy it without having to fight off scavengers and would-be dinner thieves.
Did You know?
Leopards do not actually have to drink much water. They get plenty of moisture from their kills so they do not have to hang around the watering hole like many other animals do.
The spots on these cats actually look like roses.
There are solid black leopards. The black leopards have rose-shaped spots like the other ones but you cannot see the spots unless you are very close because the fur is so dark it hides them.
These cats live in China, India, Central Asia, Northeast Africa, and Sub Saharan Africa. They are referred to as adaptive because they can learn to live in just about any habitat they find themselves in. They thrive in swampy areas, mountains, shrub lands, grassy lands, and more. The fact that they are not picky eaters helps them adapt to different areas quicker.
Is A Leopard One of The Big Cat Species?
They are big cats. They are the smallest of the top five big cats.
Are Leopards Related To The Cheetah?
Leopards are related to cheetahs, lions, jaguars, and tigers.
Do Leopards Hunt in Packs?
Leopards are solitary animals and generally live alone or with their own offspring.