Some interesting and important facts about leopards include that there are nine subspecies of leopards, and it is recognized as one of the four big cats along with tigers, lions and jaguars. Leopards are nocturnal and solitary animals that can live in different habitats, including deserts, mountains and rainforests. These animals are found in Africa and many countries of Asia.
The scientific name of this big cat is Panthera pardus. The different subspecies of leopards include the African, Persian, Amur, Indian Javan and North China leopard. Unfortunately, the Amur leopard, which lives in parts of Russia, China and the Korean Peninsula, is listed as critical endangered due to habitat loss and being hunting by man. The Amur leopard population is believed to be about 30.
Although the leopard is the smallest of the four big cats, it is a very strong animal A typical male leopard can weigh between 120 to 140 lbs. They can swim and are extremely nimble. In terms of physical appearance, the leopards distinctive coat is tan and has black markings in the form of rosettes, which contain a central area that is yellowish-brown in color.
In the wild, the leopard's life expectancy is between 15 to 20 years. As a carnivore, a leopard preys on different animals that can range in size from rodents to wildebeest or antelope. These big cats tend to drag their prey up a tree away from other predatory animals.