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Earth Science. Christian.
Copyright (C) by Noelene Rout 15th July 2007
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Scriptures used on this page are taken from the
Old King James Bible.
Hebrew words used on this page can be found in
Numbers used on this page can be found in
The Strongs Concordance of the Bible.
You can download a Bible Concordance
in a free Bible from e-sword.net.
The leopard is a large and dangerous cat. It is dangerous to approach a leopard because a leopard will attack and kill a human if it feels threatened. Cats are divided up into large cats and small cats. All large cats such as lions, tigers, cheetahs, jaguars, cougars, puma’s, leopards and domestic cats, are related. Within the family of leopards there are seven sub-species and that depends upon where they are living upon the earth. The name leopard comes from the Greek words, leo for lion, and pardos for panther. People once thought that leopards were panthers. The scientific name for a leopard is Panthera pardus.
From head to tail the leopard is about 230 centimetres long, 70 centimetres tall, and weighs about 90 kilograms (male) 60 kilograms (female).
The leopard has a powerful neck, excellent hearing, large yellow-green eyes, which give the leopards good night vision, when they dilate, an excellent sense of smell, long, sharp pointed canine teeth, which it uses for killing and ripping flesh from the bones of prey, and biting back teeth in their jaws for chewing, and grinding up bones, [4973 Joel 1:6 and 4459 Psalm 58:6] claws which they use to grip and rip into the flesh of prey, and for climbing trees, which they can retract (pull into sheaths), a 90 centimetre long tail with a black tip and rings, strong legs with which it jumps 3 metres up into the air, leaps over distances exceeding 6 metres, and runs across the ground at speeds of about 60 kilometres an hour, and a light brown and yellow coat of fur, spotted and ringed with black. All leopards have spots, even a black leopard has spots, but its spots are not visible because of its dark coat.
The leopard which is the third largest member of the cat family is a graceful cat. Cats that are bigger than the leopard are, the lion and the tiger. Leopards are heavier than cheetahs. Leopards snarl, growl, hiss and purr.
Leopards are found south of the Sahara desert in Africa, they are also found in the Malay peninsula, in Asia, India and Siberia. Leopards live in woodlands, grasslands, open riverside forests, and in places where the vegetation is dense (thick). Leopards share their habitat with gazelle, wart hogs, bush pigs, and many other animals.
Leopards are fast and strong, they can kill almost any kind of animal. They leap, and swim, and jump, and also climb up trees. The leopard is well camoflouged in its yellow and brown, black, ringed and spotted coat, which helps it to hide in the dense thicket of grasslands from its many enemies, and secretly stalk its prey, in the patchy sunlight of a forest floor.
The food chain.
Leopards eat thirty different species of animals among which are: young baboons, young giraffes, impala, bush pigs, bush bucks, reed bucks, thompson gazelles, oribi, duiker, wilderbeast, and also, different kinds of birds, snakes, catfish, leaves, seeds, bulbs, roots, grasses, and, dung beetles. Among the cat family leopards are the most successful hunters. The diet of the leopard depends upon the territory in which it dwells.
The teeth of a leopard are stronger than a lion’s. Using its teeth and claws, a leopard can inflict dreadful injuries upon its enemies. Leopards cannot rely on food from other leopards because they are solitary animals, so a leopard will avoid dangerous confrontations that could cause injuries to itself, that would reduce its ability to hunt.
Baboons yell and scream when they see a leopard. Baboons and leopards hate one another. Baboons kill leopard cubs, and they wreck a leopards ability to quietly stalk and ambush prey by screaming and yelling from the tops of trees when they see the leopard stalking, and this behavopur, puts the prey on alert. Leopards kill and eat baboons, a baboon is easy prey for a leopard, who can out run it. Within a tree a leopard cannot kill a baboon because male baboons rush in to protect the threatened baboon, which causes the leopard to leave because it knows it cannot fight many baboons at once.
Farming on a leopards territory drives its prey away, the leopard is then forced to prey upon the animals.
on the farm. Dogs drive baboons away from farms, but the troops of baboons return to destroy the farmers crops as soon as the dogs have gone away. Baboons are frightened of leopards and the smell of a leopard will keep baboons away from a farm, so some farmers allow leopards to kill the ocassional farm animal because it keeps the troops away. Thousand of leopards have been poisoned and shot and killed in Africa, due to the loss of their territories by farming. When farmers fence their farms they take away the habitats of both predators and prey. Today in Africa, the only protection some leopards have, are in the sanctuary of national parks. In captivity the lifespan of a leopard is around twenty years.
Leopards are nocturnal animals; watching their prey, from the branches of trees, and saving their energy for a night of action, leopards, who have keen night vision mostly hunt during the night. Hungry leopards hunt during the day. Leopards that hunt during the day fold their four legs and crouch down in the grasses of open grassland where it is almost impossible to be seen by predators and or prey. [7257 Genesis 49:9] Leopards sometimes hunt late in the morning when prey are hot and unalert. Big cats such as lions and tigers compete with leopards for the prey. Leopards hunt various types of prey. They hunt gazelles, wilderbeasts, antelopes and other large animals, and when prey is scarce, they will catch and eat smaller animals like hares, monkeys, baboons, rodents, reptiles and insects. Leopards lurk (stalk their prey), lying in wait [7257 Genesis 49:9 6679..Job 10:16.. Job 38:39.. Job 38:39] they quietly observe them before pouncing upon, and killing them. Leopards drag their kill (dead prey) up into the branches of a tree to get it away from animals like wild dogs, jackals, lions, tigers and hyenas, who would steal it away from them. Leopard cubs learn how to hunt by playing and also by going hunting with their mothers. Leopards sleep with their prey lying along the branches of trees.
Hebrew word from the Holy Bible.
12 The lion did tear in pieces enough for his whelps, and *strangled for his lionesses, and filled his holes with prey, and his dens with ravin. Nahum 2:12
*çð÷ cha^naq khaw-nak’ Primitive root (compare 2596 çðêcha^nak khaw-nak’); to be narrow; to throttle, to choke oneself to death (by a rope): – (to) strangle, choke, suffocate. See Strongs 2614..Lions choke (strangle) and suffocate the prey. Nah 2:12 Lions are cats. Leopards are members of the cat family.
Leopards have excellent hearing. During a hunt, a leopard listens to the rustle of leaves and grass, the leopard freezes, and, standing absolutely still, it listens for the sound again, the leopard can tell by the sound of the footsteps whether the animal is small or large, the leopard can even tell by the scent just what prey it is, the leopard crouches down on the ground, and carefully and slowly edges closer and closer to the prey, quietly placing its paws on the ground, the leopard then leaps out of the grass and catches the prey by the throat and suffocates (strangles) it to death.The necks of smaller prey are broken by leopards as they catch them by the backs of their necks. If the prey manages to get away, the leopard, will chase it at a speed of about 60 kilometeres and hour.
Cubs learn how to hunt by playing and also by going hunting with their mothers. The leopardess takes her older cubs out into the wild where she teaches them how to use their camouflage, how to stalk the prey and how to sit motionless if the prey looks in their direction. If a young cub disturbs a ground bird, the leopardess is quick to catch the bird. During the first two years of their lives cubs are taught by their mothers how to survive in the wild. She teaches them how to kill prey by bringing them small living animals, she then allows them to play with it, chase it, and kill it. In this way the leopardess is teaching her cubs how to hunt.
Dining in the tree.
Leopards carry their kills high up into the branches of trees where they are safe from thieving lions and hyenas. A leopard can dine on a kill in the comfort and safety of a tree for several days. A kill that is too big, and too heavy, for a leopard to carry up into a tree, will be stolen by a hyena, or a lion.
øáõ ra^bats pronounced raw-bats’ Primitive root; to crouch (on all four legs folded, like a recumbent animal); to repose, recline, brood, imbed, lurk: – make a fold, crouch (down), fall down, sit, make to rest, (make to, cause to) lie (down), lay. See couched Strongs 7257 Genesis 49:9
Mating & Cubs.
Leopards live solitary lives, and only come together to mate. Female leopards come on heat when they are two years old, or when their young cubs have gone, they come on heat every two to seven weeks for about two or three days at a time until the leopard is pregnant. The scent of the leopardess on heat is carried for miles on the wind. e.g., Jeremiah 2:24 Leopards mate at any time of the year. When a male leopard on a nearby territory picks up the females scent he travels to mate with the female, if more than one leopard arrives, the leopards will fight over the female until one of the leopards leaves. Leopards mate quickly and many times until the leopardess is pregant, after which the male leopard leaves. When the female leopard is heavily pregnant she looks for a den, a crevice, a hole in a rock (a cave) or a thick growth of small shrubs in which to hide from other animals, where she can safely have her cubs. The leopard gives birth to a litter of between four to six cubs in her den, in the wild she will give birth to between one and three cubs,within minutes of their birth the cubs, whose eyes are tightly closed, find their mothers teats. In the wild a mother leopard while having enough milk to feed her cubs, might find it difficult to find sufficient prey to feed a large litter. A litter of cubs can be made up of spotted and also black cubs. The cubs parents may also be black or spotted. Cubs can hear when they are born, they have fur that is dark and woolly, and they sleep on bare rock or hard ground because their mother doesn’t make them a bed. Mothers and their cubs are very affectionate towards one another. Because the cubs are born blind, for the first few weeks of their lives the cubs are very dependent on their helpful mother, who protects them by moving them to different hiding places and observing them with her watchful eyes. A mother leopard will move her cubs if she feels threatened with danger. New born leopard cubs weigh about half a kilogram and are about 15 centimetres tall. The mother leopard keeps her cubs warm, suckles and cleans them, and stays with them for the first few days of their lives. Wild dogs, jackals, lions, hyenas and eagles prey on cubs. Leopard mothers teach their cubs to climb to the safety of branches within trees. Cubs are weaned from their mothers when they are about three months old. Mothers then have to provide the cubs with more food, which means she is away from the cubs for longer periods of time during the night and also the day. Because leopards are solitary animals there is no male leopard to help mind the cubs or hunt for extra food. The cubs are vulnerable when their mothers are away. If they don’t stay in hiding, they are found by predators such as eagles who have good eyesight, and who will not hesitate to steal them away. Baboons swing down from the branches of trees to kill unprotected cubs. Lions, hyenas and wild dogs will also kill the cubs. Leopards mourn for their dead cubs. [Lions love, have feelings (mourn ). 5099..5098 Proverbs 20:2..Proverbs 28:15..A lion is a cat, leopards are members of the cat family.] Leopard cubs stay with their mother’s for about two years. Mother leopards force their cubs to leave home, but the mother’s tend to force the black cubs out of their homes first.
Cubs grow rapidly, they double their weight within the first month of their lives. It is at about this time that the mother leopard starts bringing prey to the den where she rips off small morsels (pieces) of meat for the cubs to eat. Female lions provide their cubs with morsels of food.2963 Psalm 7:2.. Psalm 17:12..Psalm 22:13..A lion is a cat, leopards are members of the cat family.By the time the cub is six months old it weighs about 10 kilograms, at twelve months it is 30 kilograms, and by the time it is two years of age the cub weighs 60 kilograms.
Cubs like to play, they climb all over their mother, and they chase her long tail and jump on it. They play with porcupines and try to catch them, and they meet and chase, and run away from, other animals. Cubs are taught by their mother to avoid, deadly snakes.
When a mother leopard returns to her cubs, she begins to purr, as she is welcomed by the cubs, and both the mother and the cubs show a great deal of affection towards one another.
When a mother leopard feels threatend with danger she begins to hiss, and this causes her cubs to stand very still (freeze). An animal that is motionless is harder to see by its enemies than one that is moving about. Freezing is instinctive, it helps animals to survive in the wild.
Territories and scent.
Cubs are taught by their mothers how to mark territory. She takes the cubs to places where she has marked her territory with her scent. The cubs begin to spray over her scent. Later, she takes them to another leopards territory and allows them to smell the scent, she then teaches them to stay out of that leopards territory.
When a young leopard leaves its mother it has to find its own territory. Young females share their mother’s territory but they keep out of her way. When a young leopard in search of territory passes over another leopards territory there may be a fight, or it keeps out of its way. The young leopard searches for empty land, or, it claims the territory of and older leopard by driving it away. The size of a leopards territory depends upon the amount of available prey. Leopards with lots of prey do not need large territories. The territory of a female is between 12 to 40 square kilometres, the territory of the male is smaller and in some cases it overlaps the territory of the female. Leopards travel many kilometeres over their territories during the night.
Some leopards are white, some are tan and yellow with black rings and spots, and some leopards are black. Even a black leopard has rings and spots. Most black leopards are found in Asia and India. Mother leopards tend to force their black cubs to leave home first. Black leopards are difficult to see in the darkness of a jungle.
Snow leopards and Clouded leopards.
The snow and clouded leopards are members of the leopard family. Being a separate species, snow leopards live within and upon the high mountains of Central Asia. The snow leopard has a long furry white coat marked with black, spots and rings which camouflages the leopard in its snowy mountain habitat.
8 Come with me from Lebanon, my spouse, with me from Lebanon: look from the top of Amana, from the top of Shenir and Hermon, from the lions’ dens, from the mountains of the leopards. The Holy Bible. Songs of Solomon 4:8
The clouded leopard lives in forests in Southeast Asia. Its coat is yellow and also has black spots and rings.
Amur, Anatolian, Barbary, South Arabian and the Zanzibar, some of these leopards may be extinct.
Amur. Korea and North china.
Barbary, Middle east.
South Arabian. Middle east.
Zanzibar. East Africa.
Leopards are safe from lions and hyenas in the branches of trees, so, leopards spend lots of time relaxing and sleeping in trees. On a very hot day leopards can be found sleeping, and enjoying cool breezes within the branches of trees. Leopards also like to rest on warm and high rocks. If a leopard in a tree, or upon a warm rock, hears a sound, it lifts its head and carefully and quietly climbs down to the ground and creeps towards the direction of the sound in search of prey. During the first two years of a cubs life the leopardess teaches her cubs how to climb trees. She will climb part of the way up a tree and encourage the cubs to follow her. It is easy for the cubs to climb up the tree because they have sharp claws. Getting down from the tree is harder, if the cubs try to come down head first they fall onto the ground, so the cubs have to learn how to come down the tree with their tails pointing to the ground. When the cubs have learned to climb the trees the mother and her cubs leave the den. Leopard cubs play and run in the branches of trees.
Leopards wash themselves with their tongues and lick their wounds clean. The saliva on the leopards tongue stops the wound from becoming infected, while stimulating healing.
Hyena’s, jackals, wild dogs, lions, tigers, baboons, and man, are the enemies of leopards.
Leopard skins are used by the world to make hats and other fashionable items. Thousands and thousands of leopards have been killed for their skins which have been sold all around the world. Leopard populations have been drastically reduced in Ethiopia, Kenya, Namibia, and Zimbabwe.
Poachers kill leopards for the money they can get for their skins. Poachers will continue to hunt leopards while people buy products made from leopard skins.
Money for Hunting.
Rich European and American people pay money for the privilege of shooting leopards.
The North African leopard is a threatened species.
The snow and clouded leopards are in danger of becoming extinct.