Snow Leopard

By: David Brandtner

Classification Order

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Family: Felidae

Genus: Panthera

Species: uncia

Evolutionary Relationships

The snow leopard belongs to the cat family and looks mostly like a lion, leopard, etc.

Habitat

Snow leopards live in the mountains of central Asia. Snow leopards keep themselves warm using their thick fur, and walk through the snow on their wide feet that act like snow boots.

Diet

Snow leopards are classified as carnivores. Snow leopards usually hunt blue sheep of Tibet and the Himalaya, along with the mountain ibex. Although the snow leopard can kill huge animals more than three times their weight, they also hunt smaller animals such as marmots, hares, and game birds.

Social Interactions

The snow leopard is for the most part a very solitary animal. The male snow leopards usually make a territory 4 to 40 square miles using his urine, leaving a few females inside it. The leopard mates from January until April. They usually have two to three babies. After the babies are born, the male leaves the female and she is left the raise the babies by herself. The baby snow leopards are born blind as well as deaf and have to depend on their mother to help them get around. After around two years they leave their mother. The average life span of the snow leopard is about 20 years and have babies every two years.

Movement

Snow leopards live mainly in the mountains so naturally are able to climb them. Also the snow leopard has very strong legs that can allow him to jump up to fifty feet or 15 meters. The leopards use their tail as a balance mechanism as well as something to cover their sensitive areas during a winter storm.
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Added Information

Size and weight: The snow leopard weighs about 60 - 120 pounds. It is also around 4-5 feet in length and 36 inches in height.


Predators and self-defense: The snow leopards only predator is the polar bear. The snow leopard uses camouflage to hide from the polar bear, but if it was being attacked it would use its claws to defend itself.


Endangered Status: The snow leopard is endangered due to their craving for domestic animals sometimes. Due to this they are killed by the farmers to keep them from eating the animals. Also they are killed by poaching in illegal trades. They are also killed and used for traditional Chinese medicine.