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The Indian leopard or Tendua or Baghera with the zoological name "Panthera pardus fusca" is one of the leopard subspecies widely spread in India.

Like Asiatic lion and Bengal tiger, it also falls under the big cats family and rated as fourth largest among them. It is of the order Carnivora and the family Felidae. There are eight other subspecies of leopard (Panthera pardus) existing around the world. The name Leopard has been derived from the Greek and Latin words wherein the 'Leo' means Lion and the 'Pard' means Panther.

Physical Structure

The cunning and most powerful Indian leopards have lengthened muscular body with a longer tail measuring 3 feet. The spots on the leopard make it unique from other animals and are called as 'Rosettes', since they resemble the shape of a rose. The spots can be of dark brown or black on the leopard's coat which has a background color of pale, creamy yellow to chestnut.

Small dark spots can be seen in various areas like ears, face, head, throat, chest and legs and large spots can be seen around the belly. The inner limbs have pale colored spots. These cats have broad paws, small eyes and short ears. The skin may become shorter and sleeker during the sunny season and tend to be longer and denser during the cold climate. Like other animals, males are larger than the females and weighs about 60 kg and grows 65 cm tall while female ones weigh 40 kg and grows up to 50 cm tall.

Leopards are agile climbers, strong swimmers and skillful stalkers. They are difficult to be spotted even though they live practically among humans. They are elegant and silent. Amongst all the big cats they are probably the most talented stalkers. They are good, flexible climbers and can slide down from a tree rapidly. Although leopards are mainly nocturnal they can be found roaming in their places during the daytime searching for their prey.

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