The original animalier

Written on 06/03/2014


I'm in South Africa, and today I lived an amazing experience! I was driving and a leopard crossed just in front of my car! It was so beautiful and calm.

So... Since, now is very fashion to wear the "animalier", I want to write the story of this beautiful animal.

The leopard is the smallest of the four "big cats" in the genus Panthera. Compared to other members of the Felidae, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but is smaller and more slightly built. Its fur is marked with rosettes similar to those of the jaguar, but the leopard's rosettes are smaller and more densely packed, and do not usually have central spots as the jaguars do. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known as black panthers. The species' success in the wild is in part due to its opportunistic hunting behavior, its adaptability to habitats, its ability to run at speeds approaching 58 kilometres per hour (36 mph), its unequaled ability to climb trees even when carrying a heavy carcass, and its notorious ability for stealth.

The leopard consumes virtually any animal that it can hunt down and catch. Its habitat ranges from rainforest to desert terrains.

Leopards show a great diversity in coat color and rosettes patterns. In general, the coat color varies from pale yellow to deep gold or tawny, and is patterned with black rosettes. The head, lower limbs and belly are spotted with solid black. Coat color and patterning are broadly associated with habitat type. Their rosettes are circular in East Africa but tend to be squarer in southern Africa and larger in Asian populations. Their yellow coat tends to be 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 coloured and of a softer, downy type. Solid black spots in place of open rosettes are generally seen along the face, limbs and underbelly.

Leopards are agile and stealthy predators. Although they are smaller than other members of the Panthera genus, they are able to take large prey due to their massive skulls that facilitate powerful jaw muscles.