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The snow leopard (Uncia uncia) is a moderately large cat native to the mountain ranges of Central and South Asia. The
Snowleopard

A snow leopard

classification of this species has been subject to change and its exact taxonomic position will not be resolved until further studies are conducted.

Snow leopards weigh 27 to 54 kilograms. They are more related to tigers than leopards. Snow leopards can leap as far as 14 metres, 2 metres further than the kangaroo.

Snow leopards cannot roar, despite possessing some ossification of the hyoid bone. The presence of this ossification was previously thought to be essential for allowing the big cats to roar, but new studies show that the ability to roar is due to other morphological features, especially of the larynx, which are absent in the snow leopard. Snow leopard vocalizations include hisses, chuffing, mews, growls, and wailing.


FoodEdit

Snow leopards are carnivores and actively hunt their prey. However, like all cats, they are opportunistic feeders, eating whatever meat they can find including carrion and domestic livestock. They are capable of killing animals three times their size but will readily take much smaller prey such as hares and birds. Unusually among cats, snow leopards also eat a significant amount of vegetation, including grass and twigs.

Appearance & colorEdit

Snow leopards have long thick fur, the base colour of which varies from smoky grey to yellowish tan, with whitish underparts. They have dark grey to black open rosettes on their body with small spots of the same color on their heads and larger spots on their legs and tail. Unusually among cats, their eyes are pale green or grey in colour.

ThreatsEdit

Snow leopards are threatened by global warming, loss of prey, and hunting.

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