Length: 36 inches
Weight: 35 - 50 lbs
Gestation: 93 days
Offspring: 1 - 5
Life Span: 17 years
Also Called: Modern-Day Sabertooth
Clouded leopards are named for the cloud-like spots on their coats that enable them to blend into their jungle environment. Also, despite being called a leopard, they are not related to the true leopard (Panthera pardus). The base fur color is usually a pale yellow to a light brown. The irregular spots on its fur are a pale color outlined in dark brown or black with usually a pale ring around the outline. Clouded leopards have a very long tail (usually as long as their body length) that is used for balance while climbing. The tail is heavily furred marked with broken, black rings. The underside is usually a pale or white color with few spots. Clouded leopards have an elongated skull that separates them from other felines and places them in their own genus. They also have the longest canines in relation to body size of any other member of the Felidae family. Clouded leopards are one of the best climbers in the cat family. They can climb on the underside of tree limbs and can hang from the branches by their hind feet. They have short, stocky legs with large paws and sharp claws. This gives them a low center of gravity and the ability to get an excellent grip when climbing. Clouded leopards also have flexible joints on their hind ankles that give them the ability to climb headfirst down a tree.
Clouded leopards are carnivores and their diet consists of birds, deer, wild pigs, squirrels, and monkeys.
Clouded leopards are primarily found in lowland tropical forests but can be found in dry woodlands and secondary forests. They are found in most of Southeast Asia from Nepal and Southern China through Thailand, Indonesia, and Borneo.
Clouded leopards are near the top of the food chain in the environments in which they live. They have no real predators.
Clouded leopards are shy animals and avoid areas with human habitation. Consequently, very little is known about their behavior in the wild. However, they are known to be solitary animals except during breeding season. They are active both day and night and spend a lot of time in trees. It is thought that most hunting is done on the ground and trees are used as a resting place.
Young clouded leopards are born with yellowish-gray fur and none of the normal adult markings. These markings first appear after six months. Young clouded leopards are active within five weeks of birth, eat solid food, at 10 weeks, nurse for five months, and are independent after 10 months.