Q:

What are some physical characteristics of a leopard?

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Quick Answer

Leopards have muscular bodies, short powerful limbs, white underbellies and tawny coats with black spots, known as rosettes. All leopards have unique rosette patterns, and their fur ranges from reddish-orange to pale yellow or tan. Their dark spots become solid around the head, limbs and chest. Small, rounded ears extend from the leopard's broad face, which also has long sensory whiskers around the muzzle and the eyebrows.

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Full Answer

The color of a leopard's fur varies by location and helps it blend in with local surroundings. For example, many desert leopards have creamy yellow or light brown fur, while leopards in cooler habitats often have a smoky gray tinge to their tawny fur. Occasionally, leopards are born with higher amounts of melanin in their genetic makeup and have completely black fur, making their spots harder to see.

Leopards are smaller than other big cats, but they take advantage of their compact size to move stealthily on land, in trees and in water. Average males weigh between 80 and 150 pounds, while females weigh 62 to 100 pounds, according to LiveScience. Leopards have strong jaws and paws, allowing them to kill prey quickly by breaking their necks. These robust felines can haul carcasses as heavy as three times their own body weight.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a baby leopard called?

    A:

    A baby leopard is called a cub. Cubs stay with their litter mates and mother until they are about two years old, at which time they begin living on their own.

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  • Q:

    What is a male leopard called?

    A:

    A male leopard is referred to as a leopard, while the female leopard is referred to as a leopardess. Baby leopards, whether male or female, are called cubs. A group of leopards is referred to as a leap or lepe.

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  • Q:

    What is a baby snow leopard called?

    A:

    Baby snow leopards are called cubs. Snow leopards mate between January and mid-March. The female then delivers two to three cubs in approximately three months after mating. At birth, snow leopard cubs weigh a bit more than 1 pound.

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  • Q:

    What animal eats a leopard?

    A:

    A crocodile may prey on a leopard if given the opportunity. Other large, land-based predators such as lions and hyenas are known to hunt and kill leopards, although this is mostly due to territorial dispute. While leopards are well-equipped to defend themselves, they mostly avoid confrontation with these predators.

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