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The leopard (Felis pardus) is a carnivore closely allied to the lion and the tiger, but differing it its inferior size, and in the fact that its tawny coat is covered with dark spots, formed by an incomplete ring of black enclosing a bright central patch. In addition to this brightly-colored form, there exists also the black leopard or panther, formerly regarded as a distinct species, but now proved to be merely a variety. Leopards occur throughout India, Ceylon, and Burma, in Persia, Palestine, Syria, Arabia, and Africa; while formerly their distribution was even more extensive. They are very active animals, and differ from lions and tigers in that they habitually climb trees. The total length, including the tail, is sometimes as much as eight feet. In India, the leopard preys chiefly on dogs and on carious kinds of monkeys; but it is capable of killing a bullock or the samber deer. The litters consist of from two to four cubs, which in India are born in spring. Leopards chiefly inhabit rocky hills covered with scrub, and in the neighborhood of villages are often a dreadful scourge to herds and flocks, and sometimes become habitual man-eaters.


Mammals: I-L, Cats


John H. Finley ed. Nelson's Perpetual Loose-Leaf Encyclopaedia (vol. 7) (New York, NY: Thomas Nelson and Sons, 1917) 281


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