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A lone Snow leopard in extreme mountainous terrain.The snow leopard (uncia uncia), is a large cat that lives in Central Asia. The snow leopard is a carnivore that hunts, but also will feed on carrion (dead meat) and smaller prey. Snow leopards are easily distinguishable from other leopards for their pale pelts and inability to roar. They are crepuscular, active at dawn or dusk, and feature in heraldry, where they are known as the ounce. In the Far East, some consider snow leopards holy. The snow leopard is not thought to be closely related to the leopard. Rosettes and broken-spot markings are less well-defined and are spaced further apart than those on leopards. Long and woolly fur helps protect the cat from extreme cold of its normal environment. It is to be found in the mountainous regions of central Asia, the north of Russia and Mongolia down through China and Tibet into the Himalayan regions of Afghanistan, The cats found in the north of the range are generally classified as Uncia uncia uncia and those from the south, Uncia uncia uncioides. Snow leopards have an underdevelopment of their vocal tissue and cannot roar. This separates them from other "big cats." Snow leopards use sounds and scrape against the dirt to communicate. Snow leopards are usually spotted because of their scratching in dirt, scent marks and scat. There has never been a known snow leopard attack towards a human. Unlike other large cats snow leopards cannot roar. Snow leopards are just a little smaller than regular leopards but their fur makes them look longer. They are hunted illegally for their beautiful rare fur and bones for some medicines. Snow leopards are not related to leopards or panthers. They are classified as the genus Uncia Uncia. The snow leopard has a close resemblance to the cheetah. Snow leopards can leap as high as 20 feet and as far as 50 feet. Snow leopards are one of the top predators on the food chain. Most live in the mountains, but some can be found in forests. Snow leopards have long thick fur, the base color of which varies from smoky grey to yellowish tan, with whitish underparts. In summer, Snow Leopards live above the tree line on mountainous meadows and in rocky regions at an altitude from 2,700 to 6,000 m (8,900 to 20,000 ft). The total wild population of the snow leopard was estimated at between 4,100 and 6,600.
November 5th, 2012
Viewed 187 Times - Last Visitor from New York, NY on 11/15/2014 at 8:17 PM
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