Leopard Evolution and Subspecies
The Leopard is a feline and they have been known to be around for at least the past 11 million years. However, they have shown that they are versatile and adaptable in ways that other cats haven’t. Many believe that this is due to the process of evolution. They have a body now that allows them to survive in just about any type of climate and along any form of terrain.
They also have a body that is strong and fast. They usually have no problem at all taking down their prey. Has this always been the case? Many believe that the sharp teeth of the Leopard could indicate that it is a distant relative of the Saber Tooth Tiger. However, we don’t have enough information to verify such claims at this time.
There is plenty of mystery that continues to surround the development of the Leopard in the past. We can only speculate about what changes may have occurred for them over that course of time. What we do know today though is that there are several subspecies of the Leopard.
We do know that the Leopard is able to adapt to different environments. This is one of the factors that has been closely studied. Darwin himself through wrote about the different spots of the Leopard long ago. However, it isn’t known if he was talking about different species or if he was talking about evolution which he is famous for introducing to us.
Leopards are medium sized cats and they are very strong. They have jaws that allow them to take down prey that is several sizes larger than they are. They also have the ability to hunt with the element of surprise. They often hide for long periods of time and then attack rapidly. Known for having tremendous speed and for being able to leap very high both vertically and horizontally, they continue to fascinate us.
The Leopard lives along for most of its life, with a very large habitat range that it covers for food. They are able to swim which many people find odd for a cat since most of them don’t like the water. They also have been known to attack humans. They take very good care of their young, giving them the skills they need for their own survival later in life.
The Clouded Leopard is a well known species and it has designs on the body that look like clouds. It also has areas of the body that feature lines and rosettes, giving it a very unique appearance. They live in Southeast Asia and can weigh up to 50 pounds. These animals are heavily hunted though due to the very unique look of them. They also continue to lose their habitat at an alarming rate.
The Snow Leopard is one that many people enjoy the appearance of. It lives in the mountain areas and it is able to withstand the very cold temperatures. There are only about 6,500 of these magnificent creatures that remain in the wild. They are also hunted for the fur. They have lost a great deal of their habitat in recent years due to the efforts of humans.
All of the species of Leopards are considered to be threatened when it comes to their future survival. Protecting their natural habitat is a key aspect of such conservation efforts. While hunting them for fur has diminished the hunt is still there to get them out of particular locations.
Some of these animals are living in captivity but they can be aggressive in such a setting. They also are very expensive to take care of. There are some successful programs in captivity where breeding is going very well. These programs can help the Leopard to increase numbers but it will take time to do so.