Snow Leopard

Uncia uncia

Classification

Domain Eukarya~ In this domain each organism cells have a nucleus. These animals can be multicellular or singled-celled.


Kingdom Animalia~ All members of the Kingdom Animalia are multicellular and reproduce sexually. This kingdom depends on other organisms for their food and survival, which makes them heterotrophs.

Phylum Chordata~ This Phylum has bilateral symmetry followed by a three germ layer. Also they have a hollow nerve cord. The nerve cord is tissue that develops into the spinal cord and brain.

Subphylum Vertebrata~ The spinal column runs from head to tail along the dorsal surface to form the main skeletal axis. Movement is provided by the muscles attached to the endoskeleton. Also, they have a large pancreas, liver, and digestive glands which allows them to swallow and consume bigger organisms.

Class Mammalia~ Hair is a main part of the body. Every animal will have hair at one point in it's life. It serves as camouflage and sometimes a defense mechanism. These animals have the ability to produce milk because of their sweet mammary glands. Most Mammalia species are polygynous meaning one male mates with multiple females.

Order Carnivora~ The animals in this order have a big brain, the effect of that is they are very intelligent animals. The fur on them is very thick and molds in the winter so they can stay warm. Their enlarged fourth upper molar allows them to cut the meat they consume. Although the Carnivora have simple stomachs, so they don't eat a lot.


Family Felidae~ This family has the ability of good hunting skills. They also have a strong bite force that helps get a good grip on their prey. Their diet is fresh meat so the animals are healthy.


Genus Uncia~ Snow Leopard.

General Description

Snow Leopards Life

Range~ Snow Leopards range is in the mountains of Central Asia. Although they are smaller than any other big cat in the mountains. With its long body hair and thick fur, it's well adapted to the cold in the mountainous environment.


Predators~ The only predators a Snow Leopard has is humans. They hunt them for their beautiful fur. The colors and warmth make great coats and shirts.


Prey~ Wild sheep and goats are the bigger of their prey. They also hunter smaller animals such as, rodents, hares, and game birds. Game birds are any bird that is hunted.


Communication~ High pitched yowling sound presents it's location because Snow Leopards don't howl. The tail can present their current mood along with their mandible, bone of the lower jaw, opens and raises their lips in defense. Another way to communicate is with scent. Two types of markings they use, usually against trees or rocks, are spraying urine and head rubbing. They do this so other animals don't intrude into their territory.


Reproduction~ Snow Leopards only mate during mating season because they don't want their cubs born into cold and harsh conditions. Although females breed every second year and the mother takes care of them for the first year of their lives. 1-5 is the average amount of cubs per litter.


Habitat~ Snow Leopards habitat is mostly in the climate of cold and dry weather. They live in steep and rocky terrain for cover and extra camouflage. Only grasses and small shrubs grow. In the winter, they migrate to a lower elevation so they get their preferred prey.


Lifespan~ Snow Leopards live till around the age of 21, usually no longer.


Height~ 2 ft which is 6m at shoulders.


Length~ 6-7.5 feet includes 40-inch tail length


Weight~ 77-120 pounds. The female Snow Leopard is 30% smaller than the male.

Physical Description

Snow Leopards have extremely thick fur that comes in different colors, light, smoke, or cream-yellow gray with a white tint on the under body. They have rosettes, large ring encircling a small spot, all over their body except for on the head, neck and lower limbs which has solid spots.

Physical Adaptations

Snow Leopards have a long tail that's used for balance and covering it's face in cold conditions. Also, their small ears are used to minimize heat loss. Snow Leopards have thick paws so they don't cut their themselves on the sharp rocks in the mountains. While hunting they use there night vision eyes to sneak up on prey in the dark. Then, they grasp the prey with their retractable claws and use their rough tongue to remove the preys fur to eat their meat.

Behavioral Adaptations

Snow Leopards usually stalk prey from above. On the edges of mountains is the usual spot so they can be hidden in the rocky terrain and can spot a weak prey to attack. Also they try to stay hidden so prey wont see them and run away because then the Snow Leopard has to waste energy chasing and catching it. This animal is very mobile on a daily basis. They travel from one location to another so they can chance their bedding multiple times a day.

Reverences

Burton, M., & Burton, R. (2002). Snow leopard. In International wildlife encyclopedia (3rd ed., Vol. 3, pp. 2432-2434). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

Conservation of Snow Leopards [Photograph]. (2014, April 6). Retrieved from https://blogs.unbc.ca/biol420-w14/2014/04/06/conservation-in-snow-leopards/

Montsion, L. 2014. "Uncia uncia" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 11, 2015 at http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Uncia_uncia/