Leopard

Panther pardus

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Classification

Domain Eukarya: This domain has animals with a nucleus, making them multicelluar.

Kingdom Animalia: They aren't prokaryotes or protists because all of the leopards are multicelluar and heterotrophs. This means that they rely on other animals for food.

Phylum Chordata: Leopards that are in the Pylum Chordata have one line of symmetry,a endoskeleton, a digestive system, a tail, a brain, and muscles. At some part of their life, they will have a notochord, which is a skeletal bone structure that supports the body.

Subphylum Vertabrata: All animals that are in subpylum Vertebrata such as fishes, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and mammals all have some kind of vertebrae that runs along from head to tail. It also helps the animal stand up and keep a good posture.

Class Mammalia: Almost all mammals have hair for their entire life. Their hair has four functions that helps the animal survive in the wild. It protects them from the heat, it has special hair that helps it know when it is close to an object, Its hair helps camouflage animals, and it helps prevent it from sunburns and other bad things.

Order Carnivora: Almost all animals in the order Carnivora have 4 upper premolars and 1 lower molar called the carnastal pair, which helps it eat the meat it caught.

Family Felidae: Felids are basically all different types of cats. They are well-coordinated hunters that hunt in the night so that other daytime animals wouldn't make it hard to catch prey and that most prey is sleeping so it can be easier to catch.

Genus Panthera: Leopards are in the genus Panthera.

Species Pardus: All leopards have a physical difference to other leopard based on their habitat. They have stubby legs, a wide head, powerful jaw muscles, circular ears, and long, narrow whiskers to help them balance and to protect their eyes. They have black spots on their face, feet, chest, and tail that helps them camouflage into their surroundings.

General Description

Height: 64- 78 cm high.

Length: Females are 1.7- 1.9 m. tall and males are 1.6- 2.3 m. tall.

Weight: Females are around 17-58 kg and males are 31- 65 kg.

Color: Leopards can be different colors depending on their habitat. For example, a cream colored leopard must be from a sunny habitat. But, the do have black spots all around its body.

Natural Range: They usually live at the top or bottom of Africa.

Diet: Leopards usually eat mide-sized prey that live in the wild, such as antelopes, gazelles, deer, and even small farm animals. If they can't find any other food, the will usually snack on small birds, retiles, and rodents.

Habitat Description: Some habitats are lowland forests, grasslands, deserts, and rocky hillsides.

Predators: Humans are the main predators of leopards because they use leopard fur to make coats and decorations. Other predators are lions, tigers, hyenas, and wild dogs that still leopard cubs and often kill the adult.

Physical Adaptions:

Leopards are usually orange-yellowish or golden with black spots on their feet, tail, chest, and face. They are felines that have huge, muscullar jaws that helps it catch prey in the night. They hunt in the night because it is way easier to catch the prey because they have good eyes sight and hearing and you don't have to fight over the prey with other animals. They always make different types of sounds depending on their mood. Leopards always stalk their prey by crouching/walking. Then they leep and jump on it's prey, giving it a death bite on the neck. If running after prey when it runs from it or running away from hunters, they can run up to 60 km per hour and jump farther than 6 m straight and 3 m side-ways.

Behavioral Adaptions

They stalk ,a slow, crouching walk, when hunting to help it get closer to its prey. When their prey gets away, they can run up to 60 km per hour. They are good swimmers to help them cross wild rivers. They mark their territory with dung, pee, and scratch marks on trees to scare predators away.

References

References

Burton, M., & Burton, R. (2002). Leopard. In International wildlife encyclopedia v.1 (LEO-MAR) (3rd ed., Vol. 11, pp. 1444-1446). New York, NY: Marshall Cavendish.

Leopards. (n.d.). Retrieved from National Geographic website: http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/leopard/

To cite this page: Hunt, A. 2011. "Panthera pardus" (On-line), Animal Diversity Web. Accessed March 11, 2015 at http://animaldiversity.org/accounts/Panthera_pardus/