snow leopard

snow leopard
a long-haired, leopardlike feline, Panthera (Uncia) uncia, of mountain ranges of central Asia, having a relatively small head and a thick, creamy-gray coat with rosette spots: an endangered species. Also called ounce2.

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Endangered species ( Uncia uncia;) of nocturnal long-haired cat that inhabits the high mountains of Central Asia and India.

It is about 6 ft (1.8 m) long, including the 3-ft (1-m) tail, stands about 2 ft (0.5 m) tall, and weighs 60–120 lb (27–55 kg). Its dense, soft coat, consisting of an insulating undercoat and outer coat of 2-in. (5-cm) hairs, is pale grayish with dark rosettes and a dark streak along the spine. The whitish fur of the underparts may be 4 in. (10 cm) long. It preys on marmots, wild sheep and goats, birds, and other animals. It is hunted principally for the market in goods used in Asian traditional medicine.

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also called  ounce 
 long-haired cat, family Felidae, grouped with the lion, tiger, and others as one of the big, or roaring, cats. The snow leopard inhabits the mountains of central Asia and the Indian subcontinent, ranging from an elevation of about 1,800 metres (about 6,000 feet) in the winter to about 5,500 metres (18,000 feet) in the summer. Its soft coat, consisting of a dense, insulating undercoat and a thick outercoat of hairs about 5 cm (2 inches) long, is pale grayish with dark rosettes and a dark streak along the spine. The underparts, on which the fur may be 10 cm (4 inches) long, are uniformly whitish. The snow leopard attains a length of about 2.1 metre (7 feet) including the 0.9-metre- (3-foot-) long tail; it stands about 0.6 metre (2 feet) high at the shoulder and weighs 23–41 kg (50–90 pounds). It hunts at night and preys on various animals, such as marmots, wild sheep, and domestic livestock. Its litters of two to four young are born after a gestation period of approximately 93 days.

      The snow leopard has often been placed, with the other big cats, in the genus Panthera. Because of certain of its skeletal features, it has also been separated by some authorities as the sole member of the genus Uncia. The snow leopard is listed as an endangered species in the Red Data Book.

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Universalium. 2010.

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Look at other dictionaries:

  • Snow leopard — Snow Snow, n. [OE. snow, snaw, AS. sn[=a]w; akin to D. sneeuw, OS. & OHG. sn[=e]o, G. schnee, Icel. sn[ae]r, snj[=o]r, snaj[=a]r, Sw. sn[ o], Dan. snee, Goth. snaiws, Lith. sn[ e]gas, Russ. snieg , Ir. & Gael. sneachd, W. nyf, L. nix, nivis, Gr.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • snow leopard — n. a large, whitish cat (Panthera uncia) of the mountains of central Asia, having many dark blotches on its long, thick fur …   English World dictionary

  • Snow leopard — This article is about the cat. For other uses, see Snow leopard (disambiguation). Snow leopard Conservation status …   Wikipedia

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  • snow leopard — snow′ leop ard n. zool. mam a longhaired, leopardlike cat, Panthera (Uncia) uncia, of mountains of central Asia, having a creamy gray coat with rosette spots Also called ounce II Etymology: 1865–70 …   From formal English to slang

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