Table of contents:
- Status and protection of animals
- General Description
- Features of life of leopards in the wild
- Hunting and food
- What is the speed of a leopard in km/h?
- Some interesting facts
- In conclusion
This unusually beautiful animal is the most common representative of the cat family (after the domestic cat). This attractive beast got its name from a combination of two Greek words leon and pardus, translated as a lion and a panther. In ancient times, it was believed that it is a hybrid of these two animals.
How much does a leopard weigh, what does it eat, where does it live and what are the characteristics of its life? More details about all this are presented in this article. It should certainly be noted that some of the subspecies are practically destroyed today, in connection with which they are listed in the International Red Book. However, there are numerous thriving subspecies among them, such as the African leopard.
Status and protection of animals
About how much a leopard weighs, a little later, but for now a little about the problems associated with this animal.
There are 5 subspecies under threat of extinction today. The main reason for the decline in the population is changes in the natural habitat, poaching and a decrease in foodresources.
It should be noted that the number of the Far Eastern leopard as of 2007 was approximately 34 individuals. I am glad that by the beginning of 2015 their number had increased to about 57. However, there are subspecies listed in the Red Book of Russia and the IUCN.
The weight of an adult leopard is quite impressive. The physique is flexible and elongated. Slender strong paws have very sharp curved claws about 5.5 cm long. Not very fluffy fur is thick and tightly attached. Animals living in harsher climates become longer and duller in color in winter.
The color of the animal envy from the place where the leopard lives. Those living in the northern regions have a bright red or light yellow coat color. In African leopards, it is reddish brown or yellowish. In addition to the main tone, the leopard has small black or brownish spots on its body. Moreover, each individual has its own, individual location and shape of the pattern. Spots are both circular and solid. Asian representatives have larger ones, while African representatives have smaller ones.
There are melanists among leopards, often called black panthers. Most of them live on the Malay Peninsula and on the island of Java, a little less are found in Africa and India. Often, black individuals are born together with spotted ones in the same litter. Information on how much a leopard weighs is given just below in the article.
This animal is a fairly large cat. The weight of an adult leopard is 32-75 kg. There are also larger individuals (up to 90 kg). The body in length reaches 90-180 cm (excluding the tail). Height - up to 45-90 centimeters. The tail has a length of 75-110 cm.
The massive skull has an elongated structure, a little low. The nasal bones taper behind, the zygomatic arches are not very widely spaced. Like most cats, a leopard has 30 teeth in its mouth. Each jaw has 6 incisors and 2 canines. A fairly long tongue is equipped with tubercles that help the animal wash and separate meat from the bone.
The size and body weight of leopards are completely different and depend on their habitats. The largest are individuals that inhabit more open spaces, and their counterparts that live in forest areas are smaller and lighter. Females are smaller than males, and their weight is 32-65 kg. Males weigh between 60 and 75 kg.
Features of life of leopards in the wild
The distribution area of this animal is wider than that of other large cats. They inhabit forest-steppe and forest regions, mountainous regions and savannahs of Africa, Asia (eastern and southern), Primorsky Krai, and the Arabian Peninsula. Occasionally, leopards can also be found in the North Caucasus. There are areas where this beast is no longer found. There is a trend towards a gradual decrease in its habitat.
Leopards are animals that can adapt to life in any geographical area: mountains, rainforests, plains, semi-deserts and savannahs. The area of the land,occupied by one spotted cat is 10-400 sq. km. The territorial areas of males and females may coincide, however, if representatives of the same sex fall into the same territory, a fierce battle will necessarily take place between them, and even end with a fatal outcome.
A leopard does not often attack a person, but in a wounded state, he will definitely defend himself. There are cannibals among these animals, mostly old, wounded, sick - unable to fully hunt.
Leopards are animals that lead a predominantly solitary lifestyle. During the day they sleep, make leisurely walks around the territory of their site. Hunting is carried out mainly at night. Females with kittens hunt at any time of the day.
This beast arranges its lair in secluded places - in caves, in crevices, under the roots of trees. Leopards living in the southern regions breed throughout the year, and individuals of the Far East - only at the end of autumn. The duration of pregnancy is three months. Usually 1-3 babies are born. Juveniles reach full growth and become sexually mature after two and a half years.
Hunting and food
A leopard, thanks to soft pads on its paws, is able to sneak up on its prey so quietly that not a single branch crunches and not a single leaf rustles. He usually hunts medium-sized animals. Overtakes them with a swift powerful jump up to 6 meters long.
Knowing thathow much a leopard weighs, you can admire how he quickly climbs the branches of tall trees, where he often ambushes or simply rests. Jumping on the prey, the spotted cat strangles it. After eating, he hides the leftovers in the trees.
Diet mainly consists of ungulates (even quite large ones). Also, if necessary (a period of starvation), a leopard can attack rodents, birds, reptiles and monkeys. Quite often, sheep, dogs, horses become its victims. There are also attacks on foxes and wolves. A spotted cat can also eat carrion, as well as steal someone else's prey.
What is the speed of a leopard in km/h?
The fastest pace a predator can reach is 50 kilometers per hour. Compared to the fastest animal (the cheetah), this is a relatively modest result. The speed of the latter is 110 kilometers per hour or more.
It should be noted that leopards do not waste their energy in vain. They do not pursue their prey at high speeds, but simply follow it and lure it. However, sometimes they have to use their agility and agility to escape from the main enemies, which are tigers, lions and people.
Some interesting facts
Here are some interesting facts about this animal:
- Leopards are capable of dragging a carcass weighing 3 times their weight up a tree, up to a height of 6 meters.
- Poachers hunt these animals for their beautiful and expensive skins, as well as mustaches used formanufacture of certain medicines.
- Leopards can both purr like domestic cats and roar like lions (but not as loud).
- These animals have excellent hearing (they hear 5 times better than humans).
- Leopards don't need much water. They get enough moisture from food.
- These animals, great climbing trees, can safely descend from them upside down. Often they can be seen sleeping on the branches of tall trees.
- Leopard or snow leopard does not belong to the species of leopards (it is closer to tigers). And their habits and appearance are different. There is also a clouded leopard, which also belongs to a completely different genus.
The largest tree-climbing animal is the leopard. How long does he live? In natural habitat, they can live up to 11 years, and in captivity their life span reaches 21 years.
The main enemy of the leopard is a man who has been hunting him since ancient times. The goal is to get the most coveted hunting trophy. The uncontrolled hunting of the animal at the beginning of the 20th century led to a significant reduction in the species. Despite the inclusion of several subspecies in the Red Book, poaching does not stop, as this animal is valued in oriental medicine.