Leopard, Wildlife Conservation Society
Snow Leopard, International Snow Leopard Trust
Clouded leopards are generally smaller in size with larger, uneven rosettes. Snow Leopards are known for their thick fur coat that keeps them warm in freezing climates. Leopards are unique in that they have eight subspecies. I also found quite a few similarities; all three of these cats are considered agile, are endangered, and they are among the top predators in their various habitats. Finally I read an article, "The Evolution of Cats," by Stephen J. O'Brien and Warren E. Johnson about the genetic connections between wild cats. Leopards, snow leopards and clouded leopards are all grouped in the Panthera lineage which also includes lions and tigers. Clouded leopards are unique in Panthera because they lack the ability to roar due to the bone structure in their throat. By studying the clouded leopard's genome, scientists have found that clouded leopards and snow leopards are actually more closely related, while true leopards are linked more closely with jaguars. We really have to look beyond the spots to understand the connections between these wild cats.