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Clouded Leopard Info
Genus:

Pantherinae Neofelis

SIZE:
Length:

Male: 81 - 108 cm (32 - 43 in) with a tail 74 - 91 cm (29 - 36 in) long

Female: 68.6 - 94 cm (27.0 - 37.0 in), with a tail 61 - 82 cm (24 - 32 in) long

Tail:

3 ft

Height to shoulder:

50 - 55 cm (20 - 22 in

Weight:

(M) 50 lbs. (F) 25 - 30 lbs

BREEDING:
Sexual maturity:

Not known but probably 5 yrs

Mating Season:

Not known in Wild, In captivity from March to May

Gestation:

86 - 93 days

No. of Young:

1 - 5 Usually 3

Birth Weight:

140 - 150g (5 oz)

Weaning:

5 months

LIFESTYLE:

The clouded leopard gets its name from the distinctive cloud like markings on its body, head, legs and tail. The fur of clouded leopards is of a dark grey or ochreous ground-colour, often largely obliterated by black and dark dusky-grey blotched pattern. There are black spots on the head, and the ears are black. Partly fused or broken-up stripes run from the corner of the eyes over the cheek, from the corner of the mouth to the neck, and along the nape to the shoulders. Elongated blotches continue down the spine and form a single median stripe on the loins. Two large blotches of dark dusky-grey hair on the side of the shoulders are each emphasized posteriorly by a dark stripe, which passes on to the foreleg and breaks up into irregular spots. The flanks are marked by dark dusky-grey irregular blotches bordered behind by long, oblique, irregularly curved or looped stripes. These blotches yielding the clouded pattern suggest the English name of the cat. The underparts and legs are spotted, and the tail is marked by large, irregular, paired spots. Females are slightly smaller than males The clouded leopard has the longest canines relatively speaking than any other living cat.The upper pair of canines may measure 4 cm (1.6 in) or longer.They are often referred to as a “modern-day saber tooth” because they have the largest canines in proportion to their body size, matching the tiger in canine length.

Most cats are good climbers, but the clouded leopard is near the top of its class. These big cats can even hang upside down beneath large branches, using their large paws and sharp claws to secure a good grip. Clouded leopards have short, powerful legs equipped with rotating rear ankles that allow them to safely downclimb in a headfirst posture—much like a common squirrel. Sharp eyesight helps them judge distances well, and the cats use their long tails to maintain balance.

Habit:

Probably solitary except for mating season.

Diet:

hog deer, slow loris, brush-tailed porcupine, Malayan pangolin and Indochinese ground squirrel, barking deer and pheasants

Lifespan:

17 yrs in Captivity.

Related Species:

Clouded Leopard is the only species in its genus.


Distribution

clouded leopards were found in much of Southeast Asia from Nepal to southern China. Today, four subspecies are found in the following regions: Nepal to Burma; southern China to eastern Burma; Sumatra, Borneo and Java; Taiwan (thought to be extinct in the wild). The Bornean clouded leopard has been identified as a new cat species.


Habitat

The clouded leopard is most associated with primary evergreen tropical rainforests, but sightings have made in secondary and logged forests as well as grassland and scrub and mangrove swamps. It has been recorded at elevations of as high as 3000 meters (9600 feet).

The clouded leopard lives among tree branches,sleeping or watching for prey.Little is known about wild clouded leopards behavior.Because it lives un inaccessible areas, and because its markings bend into the foliage,it is difficult to spot. It also stays still when danger is near.


Food & Hunting

They only eat meat, which in turn is birds,monkeys in trees,swatting them with its strong paws to stun them and then slash its prey with its sharp claws.It also feeds on pigs,deer,and goats which it drops on them from the trees.It then bites their necks breaking their spine.On the ground it has to compete against tigers and leopards for food.When pushed out of its natural habitat by humans,the clouded leopard kills young cattle and buffalo.Once thought to be a true Nocturnal hunter,It`s now thought that they hunt its prey from dawn and dusk,rather then during the darkness of the jungle.The clouded leopard stalks its prey in the twilight, when the animal is preparing to sleep or to wake,and so is most vulnerable to attack.


Breeding

Nothing is know about the clouded leopards breeding in the wild,But in captivity they produce Cubs from March to May.Litters range from one to five cubs,but usually two cubs are born,each weighing five ounces.The cubs are blind at birth but open their eyes after 12 days.They are extremely active by the time they are five weeks old.The cubs begin to eat solid food at 10 weeks but are not fully weaned until they are five months old.At nine months,they become completely independent of their mother.The cubs are not born with the same coloration as adults.Their coats develop the characteristic black rimmed spots when they reached six months of age.


Clouded Leopard & Humans

Man has been responsible for the decline in the clouded leopard`s numbers.Humans have long hunted the cats for its fur,and despite the fact that it is a seriously endangered animal and has international protection,illegal hunting still continues.Man`s forest clearance is an even greater threat to the clouded leopard`s existence.in many parts of its range,particularly Taiwan, it has been forced into small areas of inaccessible dense forest.Native tribesman do not fear the clouded leopard.


Did You Know ?

  • The clouded leopard`s canine teeth are similar in shape to those of the extinct saber-toothed tiger.

  • Borneo natives used clouded leopards teeth for earrings and their skin for tribal battle dress.

  • unlike other big cats,the clouded leopard does not roar,a bone in its voice box prevents it.

  • Clouded leopards in captivity are generally good tempered and playful.

  • A clouded leopards tail can grow to three feet.





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