Species fact:  Clouded leopards

Clouded leopards are adorable.
The “clouds” are those beautiful dark blotches on the coat.

These wild felines aren’t close relatives of the leopard, but modern research shows that clouded leopards do belong with the big cats. Their head and face are a little weird looking. That could be because these Southeast Asian cats are primitive – the first big cats to evolve some 11 million years ago. But some paleontologists have a different explanation for it.

Species Facts: Snow Leopard

Snow leopards aren’t leopards that live in snowy country. “Panthera uncia” is actually a separate species and more closely related to the tiger. While leopards rule in southern Asia, snow leopards own the alpine and subalpine zones from the Himalayas northward, across the Tibet plateau and the Central Asian high country, to mountainous southern Siberia.

Species Facts: The Leopard

The world’s most famous spotted cat is a little better off than other big cats. Although its range has shrunk, the leopard still calls two continents home. Since leopards can adapt to almost any environment from sea level up to around 17,000 feet in the Himalayas, you will find them in most of sub-Saharan Africa and across much of southern/northeast Asia. While the overall species isn’t endangered, some leopard subspecies are. But in India the high numbers of both leopards and people are causing serious problems.

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