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Snow Leopard

Introduction
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The Indian Snow leopard or White Snow leopard is one of the semi-large cats with the zoological name "Panthera uncia".

It said to be an intermediate of the big and small cats because of its characteristics that it can neither roar nor purr.

It is of the order Carnivora, the family Felidae and the subfamily Pantherinae. There are two subspecies of Snow leopard existing around the world. Snow leopard cats do not fall under the leopard family even though the physical characteristics closely relate to them.

Snow leopards are referred as 'Grey Ghost of Himalayas' because of the color contrast between the camouflage and the mountain environment of bare rocks and snow.

Physical Structure

The snow leopard has the physical traits in such a way as to combat the cold conditions. The fur of these cats are very thick and woolly in order to guard itself from the snow fall. The fur color may vary from gray to yellow with black or brown rounded spots around their neck and lower limbs. They have clean white fur on it's under parts like belly, chin and chest. They have rosettes all over the body right from the head to the tail with the color ranging from dark gray to black. They have small and round ears which help to minimize the heat loss.

Snow leopard have a long furry tail which acts as a blanket to protect their mouth and nose from cold when asleep; it also helps to balance when walking on the rocky terrain area. The fats of the Snow leopard are stored in their tails. They have a small leg with large and wide paws. The paws act as a snow shoe which enables them to climb, walk over rough terrain and snow. Snow leopard has a large nasal cavity which enables them to utilize the oxygen efficiently in their cold and mountainous habitat.

Like other animals the females are smaller than the males. The males weigh about 75 kilogram (170 lb) and the female weighs 25 kilogram (55lb). The length of the body is 0.75 to 1.3 meter (30-50 inches). The length of the furry tail is about 0.8 to 1 meter (32-29 inches). They are 2 meter tall at the shoulder. Even though, the snow leopard cannot roar, they have some vocalizations which include mews, growls, chuffing,wailing and hisses.


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