The leopard (Panthera padres), is one of the five "big cats" in the genus Panthera. It is a member of the family Felidae, with a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia.
Compared to other members of Felidae, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but has a smaller, lighter physique. Its fur is marked with rosettes similar to those of the jaguar, but the leopard's rosettes are smaller and more densely packed, and do not usually have central spots as the jaguar's do. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known as black panthers.
The leopard is distinguished by its well-camouflaged fur, opportunistic hunting behaviour, broad diet, and strength (which it uses to move heavy carcasses into trees), as well as its ability to adapt to various habitats ranging from rainforest to steppe, including arid and montane areas, and its ability to run at speeds of up to 58 kilometres per hour (36 mph)
The leopard is a big cat distinguished by its robust build and muscular but relatively shorter limbs, a broad head and a coat covered by spots arranged in rosettes. Males stand 60–70 cm (24–28 in) at the shoulder, while females are 57–64 cm (22–25 in) tall. The head-and-body length is typically between 90 and 190 cm (35 and 75 in). While males weigh 37–90 kg (82–198 lb), females weigh 28–60 kg (62–132 lb); these measurements vary geographically.
Leopards, like lions and tigers, tend to be nocturnal (active mainly at night). However, leopards in western African forests have been observed to be largely diurnal and hunt during twilight, when their prey animals are active; activity patterns may even vary by season. Leopards generally are active mainly from dusk till dawn, and rest for most of the day and for some hours at night in thickets, among rocks or over tree branches.
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