A Snow Leopard is a type of large cat that originates from the mountains of Central Asia. The name is also used to refer to the leopards native range, as well as various color and pattern variations.
Snow Leopards can grow up to 7 feet (2m) long once fully grown with a tail measuring an additional 3 feet (1m). They weigh anywhere between 80-210 pounds (35-95kg)
They are easily identifiable by their thick white, grey or brown coat which is perfect for camouflage in the snow. Their fur can range from pale yellow to dark gray but this offers little help when identifying them as all Snow Leopards have coats with a unique pattern of markings.
These patterns vary from leopard to leopard and no two animals will be marked exactly the same way. These beautiful markings allow individuals to recognise one another and play an important role in social interactions between members of a group. Some experts believe that these unusual markings may also serve a third purpose - acting as a deterrent against prey!
Their white coat also helps Snow Leopards blend into their environment, concealing them from their prey of wild sheep and goats as well as larger animals such as deer and mountain ibex.
Snow Leopards are the most northerly species of feline in the world, inhabiting regions above the tree line. Their preferred habitat is a mix between rocky crags and steep cliffs combined with snowy ravines
The Snow Leopard's adapted paws help to keep them from sinking into the snow when they make a leap from one cliff to another - they can leap more than 30 feet (9m) horizontally!
Their paws also store fat which helps them survive during the cold winter months where food is scarce
In order to produce all that extra energy for leaping through steep terrain, they need to eat roughly 5-6 pounds