Beside the five official members of the genus Panthera (Tiger, Lion, Jaguar, Leopard and Snow Leopard) there are five more cat species which do not quite fit into the ‘small cat definition’ as they are rather large and/or have very special features. I will introduce these over the next few days.
Today it is my two favorite cat species: The Clouded Leopards (Neofelis.nebulosa and Neofelis.diardi)
They have large, paws with adapted footpads for gripping branches. Specialized anklebones allow varied position for climbing, including climbing headfirst down trees. Another distinctive feature is their very long canine teeth. For a long time they were considered the ‘link’ between small and big cats. Today they are classified as big cats, but are still within their own genus. Neofelis with its two species the Mainland Clouded Leopard (Himalayas/SouthEast Asia/China) and the Sunda Clouded Leopard (Borneo/Sumatra) are considered arboreal cat species (living in trees).