Thursday, September 16, 2010
The Snow Leopard
Image taken from http://circleoflife.wikispaces.com/Snow+Leopards
The snow leopard is a moderately large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central Asia. Their secretive nature means that their exact numbers are unknown, although it has been estimated that between 3,500 and 7,000 snow leopards exist in the wild. They are stealthy, patient and extremely agile, which makes them formidable hunters. Snow leopards have long thick fur, the base colour of which varies from smoky grey to yellowish tan, with whitish underparts. They have dark grey to black open rosettes on their body with small spots of the same color on their heads and larger spots on their legs and tail. Unusually among cats, their eyes are pale green or grey in colour. Their bodies are stocky, they have a long, flexible furry tail, a thick, dense coat, their ears are small and rounded, and they have wide padded paws. All these characteristics are ideal for living in a cold mountainous environment. Snow leopards cannot roar, surprisingly. But their vocalizations include hisses, chuffing, mews, growls, and wailing. I think we can all agree that snow leopards are very magnificent and mysterious animals.