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Clouded Leopard

Clouded Leopard

The Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa) is a relatively medium-sized cat, 55 to 110 cm (2 ft to 3 ft 6 in) long and weighing between 15 and 23 kg (33 to 50 lb). It has a tan or tawny coat, and is distinctively marked with large, irregularly-shaped, dark-edged ellipses which are said to be shaped like clouds, hence both its common and original scientific name. It is found in southern China (at least as far north as Wuyi Shan), the eastern Himalayas, Nepal, north-east India, and mainland Southeast Asia. The Bornean Clouded Leopard, Neofelis diardi, is a separate species found on the Sumatra, Borneo and the Batu Islands. Because of their distinct skull structure, the two species are considered sufficiently different to be the only members of their genus. The Clouded Leopard was a confusion to scientists for a long time because of the appearance and skeleton. It was what seemed to be a cross in between a big cat and a small cat. The scientific name of the genus, Neofelis, originates from neo, which means "new", and felis, which means "small cat", so it literally means new kind of small cat.

 

 
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