June 16, 2010

Endangered Strangers: The Clouded Leopards


Yeah, I have the longest canine teeth of any modern carnivore

Photo: Alain Compost/WWF-Canon
And I'm prettier than all of them too
I don't make a big deal out of it or anything
Me strong, sexy, silent type

Unless you push me...


I'm the Clouded leopard


Little is known about the clouded leopards, medium size wildcats from the forest of Asia. They are excellent climbers. No really- they are able to climb upside down, on the underside of a tree branch, and hang from their hind feet!  Their tail can grow up to 3 feet long, the same length as their body.

The Clouded leopard has the longest upper canine teeth for it's skull size of any modern carnivore.  It's jaw and skull evoke primitve saber-tooth cats and in fact, Clouded leopard skulls are unlike those of any other cat living today.

In 2007 the Borneo Clouded Leopard was declared to be a separate species. Formerly considered to be one of the now 4 sub-species of Clouded leopard, the declaration was made after a study comparing coat patterns and coloration. Researchers found the leopards on the islands of Borneo and Sumatra are markedly different from animals found on the Southeast Asian mainland. Genetic testing was also done.  Researchers estimate that the two species diverged approximately 1.5 million years ago due to geographical isolation.

1 comment:

  1. I love clouded leopards! Especially the sundaland clouded leopard. Check out our Clouded leopard shirts: http://www.daughterearth.com/clpshop.html

    ReplyDelete