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ocelot(äs`əlŏt', ō`sə–), medium-sized cat, Leopardus pardalis, of Central and South America. It is occasionally found as far N as Texas. The ocelot has a yellow-brown coat with black spots, rings, and stripes. It is about 30 in. (76 cm) long, not including the 14-in. (35-cm) tail, stands about 16 in. (41 cm) high at the shoulder, and weighs up to 35 lb (18 kg). Ocelots live in forests, where they hunt, mainly on the ground, both by day and by night. They prey on birds, snakes, and small mammals. Litter size varies from 2 to 4. Ocelots are hunted for their pelts, which are used for coats and trim. They are able to be tamed and are sometimes kept as pets. They 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, or Leopardus, pardalis), a predatory mammal with a body length reaching 1 m, a tail length of about 30 cm, and a shoulder height reaching 50 cm. The head is elongated and has rounded ears. There are two black stripes on the forehead and on each cheek. The yellow or gray fur is marked with long black stripes, broken rings over the body, and other rings on the legs. The chest and abdomen are buff-colored.
The ocelot is distributed from the southern United States to Patagonia. It inhabits forests and thickets. The ocelet hunts at dusk and during the night; its prey includes monkeys, rodents, birds, reptiles, and poultry. The animal climbs trees well. Mating occurs in June or October; the kittens, usually twins, are born about four months after mating. The ocelot population has declined substantially, because the animals are hunted for their fur.