Wednesday, 9 April 2014

 clouded leopard, animal

The clouded leopard  is a cat found from the Himalayan foothills through mainland Southeast Asia into China, and has been classified as Vulnerable in 2008 by IUCN. Its total population size is suspected to be fewer than 10,000 mature individuals, with a decreasing population trend, and The clouded leopard is considered to form an evolutionary link between the big cats and the small cats.no single population numbering more than 1,000 adults.The fur of clouded leopards is of a dark grey or ochreous ground-colour, often largely obliterated by black and dark dusky-grey blotched pattern. There are black spots on the head, and the ears are black. Partly fused or broken up stripes run from the corner of the eyes over the cheek, from the corner of the mouth to the neck, and along the nape to the shoulders.
 clouded leopard, animal

 Elongated blotches continue down the spine and form a single median stripe on the loins. Two large blotches of dark dusky-grey hair on the side of the shoulders are each emphasized posteriorly by a dark stripe, which passes on to the fore leg and breaks up into irregular spots. The flanks are marked by dark dusky-grey irregular blotches bordered behind by long, oblique irregularly curved or looped stripes. These blotches yielding the clouded pattern suggest the English name of the cat.

The underparts and legs are spotted, and the tail is marked by large, irregular, paired spotsTheir irises are usually either greyish-green or brownish-yellow in color. Their legs are short and stout, with broad paws. They have rather short limbs compared to the other big cats, but their hind limbs are longer than their front limbs to allow for increased jumping and leaping capabilities. Their ulnae and radii are not fused, which also contributed to a greater range of motion when climbing trees and stalking prey.

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