Polarized Light Microscopy Digital Image Gallery

Leopard Hair

Several different races of leopards have been classified based on their coloration, markings, and size. There is, however, only one true species of the animals, which is scientifically described as Panthera pardus. Despite their common names, the snow leopard, clouded leopard, and leopard cat are distinct genera, the true leopard being more closely related to the lion and the tiger, which are both members of the genus Panthera. Though somewhat smaller than lions and tigers, leopards are highly skilled hunters that may take down sizable prey, such as antelopes, although they more often consume smaller animals, including birds, dogs, monkeys, and rodents. They are also good swimmers and climbers that frequently store extra meat in the branches of trees.

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