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leopard,large carnivore of the catcat,
name applied broadly to the carnivorous mammals constituting the family Felidae, and specifically to the domestic cat, Felis catus. The great roaring cats, the lion, tiger, and leopard are anatomically very similar to one another and constitute the genus
..... Click the link for more information. family, Panthera pardus, widely distributed in Africa and Asia. It is commonly yellow, buff, or gray, patterned with black spots and rings. The rings, unlike those of the New World jaguarjaguar
, large New World carnivore of the cat family, Panthera onca. Jaguars range from the SW United States to S central Argentina, though there have been no resident breeding females in the United States since 1963.
..... Click the link for more information. , never have spots inside them. Black leopards are commonly called panthers, a name sometimes used for all leopards. They are not a distinct species but merely a color variant caused by melanism, or excessive pigmentation. Close inspection reveals the typical spotting, which is obscured by the darkness of the background.
Leopards are somewhat smaller than lions and tigers; the largest males are about 7 ft (2.3 m) long, including the 3-ft (90-cm) tail. Leopards are solitary, largely nocturnal, and good climbers; they hunt both on the ground and in trees. They prey mostly on small animals such as monkeys, rodents, and birds. Leopards are found in much of Africa south of the Sahara and in parts of Asia from Israel to Korea and Indonesia. They are listed as threatened or endangered throughout their range, owing primarily to loss of their natural habitat and to illegal killing for Asian folk medicine.
A related species is the snow leopard, or ounce, Uncia uncia or P. uncia, which replaces ordinary leopards in the high mountains of Central Asia. It has long whitish fur and diffuse spotting. In summer, when the mountain animals on which it preys range to high pastures, the snow leopard may climb to an altitude of 13,000 ft (3,900 m). It usually hunts at dusk or at night. More distantly related are the clouded leopards, Neofelis nebulosa of SE Asia and Neofelis diardi (Sunda clouded leopard) of Borneo and Sumatra; they were considered a single species until the early 21st cent. The coat is more tawny and lighter in the clouded leopard, more gray and darker in the Sunda clouded leopard. Both have coats strikingly marked with black and brown; there are stripes on the face and tail, spots on the limbs, and rosettes on the body. The tail is exceptionally long and heavy and is thickly furred. Forest dwellers, clouded leopards are nocturnal and arboreal in their habits. Unlike the leopard, both the snow and clouded leopards do not roar. The clouded leopard is an endangered species; the snow leopard is considered vulnerable.
Leopards are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
..... Click the link for more information. , subphylum Vertebrata, class Mammalia, order Carnivora, family Felidae.
(Felis pardus), a predatory mammal of the family Felidae.
The maximum body length of the leopard is 160 cm. Males weigh up to 75 kg; females weigh somewhat less. The body is elongated and muscular, and the legs are relatively short. The fur is thick and fluffy. Leopards are yellow or red with black spots. Sometimes black (melanistic) leopards are found (in India).
Leopards are found in Africa (except in the Sahara), Southwest Asia, and southern Asia; in the USSR—in the Caucasus (very rarely), in the mountains of southwestern and southern Turkmenia, the southern part of Tadzhikstan, and Ussuriisk Krai. Leopards inhabit remote forests and mountains. They hunt mainly ungulates (goats, sheep, deer). Sometimes they pursue domestic animals (sheep, horses, and dogs) and also birds and rodents. In India there are leopards that on rare occasions attack humans.
The number of leopards is steadily decreasing in all areas. Their number decreased especially sharply in the 1950’s and 1960’s in Africa because of the fashion for leopard coats. The decrease in the number of leopards has led to a sharp increase in the number of baboons, which badly damage crops.
REFERENCEMlekopitaiushchie Sovetskogo Soiuza, vol. 2, part 2. (Forthcoming.)
LeopardVersion 10.5 of the Mac OS X operating system, which runs on PowerPC and Intel-based Macs. Released in October 2007, Leopard includes many enhancements and new features, including Time Machine, an automated backup utility; Spaces, a way to organize applications in separate "virtual" desktops; and Spotlight, a search capability across the network. Boot Camp, which allows users to install Windows on Intel-based Macs, is included rather than being an option.
Numerous enhancements were made to the basic OS X architecture, and several security enhancements were added. For example, Leopard supports code signing, which verifies that executable applications are not tampered with. Address space randomization places code randomly in memory rather than in predetermined locations that hackers are expecting. See Snow Leopard, Mac OS X and Boot Camp.