Leopards, Jaguars, and Cheetahs
by Natalie Robinett
"And You're Gonna Hear me Roar!"
There are few animals that can match Jaguars, leopards and cheetahs elegance, strength and beauty and have caught peoples eyes for years and years. They are alike and different in many ways and look amazingly similar with their tawny colored coat and dark brown/black spot pattern. Their special abilities are unique and special.
An Elegant Body
Again, jaguars, leopards and cheetahs are admired for beauty. The eyes of a cat are spread far apart. That gives them a wide field of vision. Big eyes help gather in as much light as possible in the dark. long whiskers are special hairs that the cat uses in the dark to help feel. Cheetahs look different of a small head without large canine teeth and a lean body with a broad chest. Cheetahs have a long tail for balance with blunted, unsheathed claws. Their spots look like black polka dots against their tawny pelt. Leopards and jaguars are often mixed up because they look similar. Jaguars are more heavily built than cheetahs and leopards. Jaguars have wider faces with claws that slide in and out. Their spots pattern has lots of tiny black rings shaded in with a darker tawny color while leopards have the same pattern only there are a few dots inside.
Male and female jaguars, leopards and cheetahs don’t live together so they have to get together to mate. They can get together anytime of the year. After they mate, they part ways again. Then the male leaves the female to raise and take care of the cubs. A male leopard is ready at 2 years and a female leopard at 3. Once Leopards do their mating the female finds a safe place to give birth. There are around 13 cubs in a litter. Leopard babies weigh 1-5 pounds and are taught how to survive 2 months later. Leopards mate about every 2 years. Cheetah females are ready to mate at 3 years old about every 18 months. Sometimes male cheetahs fight for a female cheetah. After mating the male will leave And the female will then find somewhere safe to give birth to a max of 8 cubs. When the mother leaves the den to hunt for her babies, sometimes the babies could get attacked by other animals. Baby cheetahs don’t look like their mother with long grey fur. When their 1 month old they leave their mother forever. When a male jaguar is ready to mate, he listens for a female’s mating call and they eventually like leopards and cheetahs, male jaguars leave the female when done mating. Then, 3 months later the cubs are born, possibly in a den of bushes. 1-4 jaguar cubs are in a litter and weigh from 1-3 pounds. At 3 months baby jaguars are taught to survive. at 2 years they are ready to leave their mother. All big cat’s mating and birth steps are very similar.
Almost all the wild cats have been relentlessly hunted and trapped by humans in the name of sport. In the 1960s to the 1970s the demand for fur coats led to constantly killing leopards, jaguars and cheetahs. Though in some countries, its illegal, hunting still goes on. So get off that couch! We can do something! Jaguars and leopards might become endangered. Cheetahs already are! Leopards, cheetahs and jaguars are very cool animals.