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Two small leopard born at the National Zoo research center

Two Small Leopard Born At The National Zoo Research Center

The leopard is an agile and stealthy predator. Although smaller than other members of the Panthera genus, the leopard is still able to take large prey given its massive skull that facilitates powerful jaw muscles. Its body is comparatively long for a cat and its legs are short. Head and body length is between 125 and 165 cm (49 and 65 in) and the tail reaches 60 to 110 cm (24 to 43 in). Shoulder height is 45 to 80 cm (18 to 31 in). The muscles attached to the scapula are exceptionally strong, which enhances the leopard's ability to climb trees.
Leopards show a great diversity in size. Males are about 30% larger than females, weighing 30 to 91 kg (66 to 200 lb) compared to 23 to 60 kg (51 to 130 lb) for females. Large males of up to 91 kg have been documented in Kruger National Park in South Africa; however, males in the South Africa's coastal mountains average a much smaller 31 kg. This wide variation in size is thought to result from the quality and availability of prey found in each habitat. Smaller sized leopards also are known in the deserts of the Middle East.
Leopards may sometimes be confused with two other large spotted cats, the cheetah and the jaguar. However, the patterns of spots in each are different: the cheetah has simple spots, evenly spread; the jaguar has small spots inside the polygonal rosettes; while the leopard normally has rounder, smaller rosettes than those of the jaguar. The leopard is larger and much more muscular than the cheetah, but slightly smaller and more lightly built than the jaguar.
Leopards show a great diversity in physical appearance, particularly because of the wide variations in color coat and rosette patterns. The leopard's rosettes are circular in East Africa but tend to be squarer in southern Africa and larger in Asian populations. The leopard's yellow coat tends to more pale and cream colored in desert populations, more gray in colder climates, and of a darker golden hue in rainforest habitats. Overall, the fur under the belly tends to be lighter colored and of a softer, downy type. Solid black spots in place of open rosettes are generally seen along the face, limbs and underbelly.

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Album name:Fauna & Flora
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Keywords:#two #small #leopard #born #national #zoo #research #center
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Date added:Mar 30, 2009
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