Neofelis nebulosa

The Clouded leopard is a medium sized cat with a golden or greyish coat that is patterned with large cloud shaped markings that are dark brown with a black outline. The shoulder and back markings are darker towards the rear. It appears to be an evolutionary bridge between the genus Panthera (big cats e.g. tiger, lion, etc.) and the genus Felis (small cats). It differs from the large cats because it has a ridgid hyoid bone and so is incapable of roaring and because the pupils contract to a spindle like a small cats’ pupils. It differs from the small cats by the low level of grooming behavior it exhibits and by its posture at rest: tail straight out behind and forelegs straight out in front. They have powerful short and stout legs. They stand 10-16 inches tall, measure 36.5 inches from nose to base of the tail. The tail is full and long (30 inches). Males can weigh up to 50 pounds, while the somewhat smaller female weighs up to 35 pounds. The skull and teeth are strikingly leopard like (possibly an adaptation for catching birds, thus allowing it to easily bite through feathers). It’s upper canine teeth are the longest, for their skull size, of any living carnivore. The snout is rather broad, although the head itself is quite narrow. Eyes are usually yellow.

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