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Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor)

India parvez Offline
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#76

@Ngala some are massive. Thanks for sharing.
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India parvez Offline
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All the alpha predators across subcontinent, middle east seem to be having same type of body poses and gestures.
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India parvez Offline
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Can anyone please say which group of leapords are the biggest? I am asking this because I saw leapords from other regions such as Tibet, Ladakh appear to be bigger than these persian leopards.
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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(11-02-2016, 09:55 PM)parvez Wrote: Can anyone please say which group of leapords are the biggest?

Biggest as in body size? Or biggest in the population sense?
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India parvez Offline
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(11-02-2016, 10:10 PM)Majingilane Wrote:
(11-02-2016, 09:55 PM)parvez Wrote: Can anyone please say which group of leapords are the biggest?

Biggest as in body size? Or biggest in the population sense?

Biggest in body size.
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Italy Ngala Offline
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(11-02-2016, 09:55 PM)parvez Wrote: Can anyone please say which group of leapords are the biggest?

Persian Leopard is probably the largest subspecies for body size, and then most probably for weight. They are more massive than other ssp.

(11-02-2016, 09:55 PM)parvez Wrote: I am asking this because I saw leapords from other regions such as Tibet, Ladakh appear to be bigger than these persian leopards.

You have photos to show us? Is not common find photographic material for leopards from those regions.
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Netherlands peter Offline
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( This post was last modified: 11-03-2016, 04:46 AM by peter )

A - SKULLS


1 - Asia

Based on what I saw, I'd say there are distinct regional differences in size. Skulls of animals shot in northwestern India and northern Iran are larger than those shot in other Asian regions (Asia Minor, southeastern Russia, southeast Asia, Indonesia, central parts of India and Shri Lanka). Second place is for India, but Shri Lankan and Thailand leopards are roughly the same size.      

2 - Africa

Africa also shows distinct regional differences in size. The difference with Asia is there seems to be no clear pattern. The largest African skulls were from animals shot in elevated regions in central parts of the continent, but skulls from leopards shot in southern Africa just about compared. The most impressive skulls I saw, however, were from animals shot in dense tropical forests in western parts of Africa. Although a bit flatter in profile, they were more robust and also had the largest teeth.

These tropical forest leopards reminded me of Patagonian pumas. Although not longer than those shot in the northern part of the continent (Canada), they had more muscular and denser skulls. They also had the largest teeth.  

3 - Individual and regional variation

Based on what I saw, I'd say individual and regional variation in leopards could be more pronounced (and regionwise more acute) than in other big cats. Same for sexual dimorphism. The difference with other big cats is leopards, sizewise, do not show clear geographical patterns. One could, parhaps, make a bit of a case for a kind of cline in Asia, but I didn't see anything pointing towards a pattern in Africa.

I did, however, notice a positive correlation between average skull size and the presence of other large predators. Apart from Kruger and Zimbabwe, leopards living in regions that have no large predators often are larger than leopards living in regions that have. One could conclude that competition seems to be more important than, for instance, elevation, vegetation or availability of prey animals. 


B - LENGTH AND WEIGHT

1 - Asia

A century ago or thereabout (1880-1940), male leopards shot in the Central Provinces averaged just over 7 feet in total length. Shri Lankan male leopards were very similar. Large individuals ranged between 7.4-7.8 (223,52-233,68 cm.) measured 'between pegs', but one shot in central India was 7.10 (238,76 cm.). This male, according to the one who had been on his tail for quite some time, had teamed up with a very old male tiger. Both were always seen together and they also hunted together. The longest male shot in Shri Lanka (Ceylon back then) also taped 7.10 'between pegs'.

The Maharajah of Cooch Behar and his guests bagged quite a few leopards in the last decades of the 19th century. The longest of them well exceeded 8 feet in total length measured 'over curves', but I doubt if even one reached 8 feet in total length measured 'between pegs'. Leopards shot in Nepal between 1930-1939 roughly compared.

Males shot in central parts of India averaged 120-130 lbs. (54,43-58,97 kg.), but large individuals turned the scales at 160-170 lbs. (72,58-77,11 kg.). Heavier males no doubt have been shot, but I never read a reliable report. I'm sure you're aware of the captive giant who apparently exceeded 100 kg. when he was caught, but I don't know what to make of it.     

There's not much about Chinese leopards, but according to those in the know Amur leopards were a bit larger. The heaviest captured in Russia, not so long ago, well exceeded 60 kg., but most are smaller. Leopards shot in Vietnam were smallish, but those in Thailand and (the northern part of) Myanmar (Burma) are very similar to Indian and Shri Lankan leopards shot a century ago. 

Leopards captured in northern parts of Iran seem to be the longest and heaviest of Asia today, but the difference with India, Shri lanka, Thailand and Myanmar is limited. Large individuals, however, are more often seen in Iran. Here's a photograph of a poached male leopard posted before: 


*This image is copyright of its original author


Leopards captured in the extreme west of Asia are much smaller. Same for the Arabian peninsula. Javan leopards are a bit larger, but a century ago males exceeding 198 cm. (6.6) in total length were few and far between. Three males were 27 kg. (60 lbs.), 29 kg. (65 lbs.) and 39 kg. (87 lbs.). The Javan leopard I saw in the Zoologischer Garten (Berlin) a year ago, however, was a decent-sized male:


*This image is copyright of its original author
  
   
2 - Africa

There's not much from central parts of Africa, but male leopards in Kruger and Zimbabwe average 210-220 cm. in total length (6.11-7.3) and 58-61 kg. (129-135 lbs.). At that level (averages), they're about the same size as male leopards in India, Shri lanka and Thailand, perhaps a tad larger. They do, however, produce more exceptional individuals; the largest just exceed 200 lbs. (90,72 kg.) in weight and 8 feet (243,84 cm.) in total length (measured 'between pegs').       
          
Leopards in Zambia and Tanzania, not that far away, are quite a bit smaller. I measured many skulls of leopards shot in Tanzania a century ago in the Staatliches Museum fur Naturkunde in Stuttgart in 2012. Only very few male skulls exceeded 220 mm. in greatest total length, whereas the longest skull from Java was 231 mm. That animal was 198 cm. (6.6) in total length (measured in a straight line).  

Leopards living in central parts of Africa (and elevated regions in northern Kenya in particular) could compare to Kruger and Zimbabwe leopards in most respects. Those living in the dense tropical forests in western parts of central Africa could be as large. There's evidence that some individuals hunt chimps and even gorillas. Leopards living at the edges of Africa (Cape Province and Eritrea) are much smaller.      


3 - CONCLUSIONS

- Male leopards of large subspecies (northern Kenya, southern Africa, western parts of central Africa, Persia, Shri Lanka and Thailand) roughly compare in most respects (greatest skull length, body length and weight) at the level of averages. Although African hotspots seem to produce more exceptional individuals, the largest individuals in Asia (India and, in particular, Iran) almost compare.

- Although elevated and well-stocked regions seem to produce large animals more often, the correlation between elevation and size does not seem to be strong as the correlation between size and competition: apart from southern Africa, leopards living in regions without lions and tigers usually are larger than leopards living in regions where they face competition.

- Compared to other big cats, leopard show more regional and individual variation in size. Sexual dimorphism also seems a bit more outspoken. This is remarkable, as leopards are not as large and robust as the others. As can be seen in the table below, the differences between age classes (males) can be pronounced:


*This image is copyright of its original author

    
This is a Zululand male leopard:


*This image is copyright of its original author


- Although dismissed by many, there is some evidence of occasional alliances between leopards and tigers in India. India also is the only country where proof of a hybryd has been found.

- A century ago, leopards in some regions had a reputation as man-eaters. According to Jim Corbett, the Panar man-eater had killed about 400 (...) humans. He also hunted the Rudraprayag leopard, who was credited with at least 125 humans. The leopard below, also a man-eater, was shot not so long ago:


*This image is copyright of its original author
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India parvez Offline
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( This post was last modified: 11-03-2016, 07:59 AM by parvez )

Thanks for response maginjilane and for the detailed post @ peter. Never expected such a good reply. I am on my mobile. I will post pictures when I get back to my pc. Regards.
edit: It was ngala who responded. Sorry I mistook it. Lol. This is funny.
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Argentina Tshokwane Offline
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#84

Umm @parvez I didn't say anything  Funny

But seriously, @peter  thank you for the detailed answer.

I did have my thoughts on this subject, but I was trying to find some info on it, I'm sure the subject had been brought up before so I was trying to find some of it.
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India parvez Offline
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(11-03-2016, 05:35 AM)Majingilane Wrote: Umm @parvez I didn't say anything  Funny

But seriously, @peter  thank you for the detailed answer.

I did have my thoughts on this subject, but I was trying to find some info on it, I'm sure the subject had been brought up before so I was trying to find some of it.

You responded by saying Persians are biggest. And I was acknowledging peter for the great response from such a good poster. I was in full surprise as he responded so much positively was actually thanking him. Sorry if it went the wrong way haha.
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India parvez Offline
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(11-02-2016, 11:33 PM)Ngala Wrote:
(11-02-2016, 09:55 PM)parvez Wrote: Can anyone please say which group of leapords are the biggest?

Persian Leopard is probably the largest subspecies for body size, and then most probably for weight. They are more massive than other ssp.

(11-02-2016, 09:55 PM)parvez Wrote: I am asking this because I saw leapords from other regions such as Tibet, Ladakh appear to be bigger than these persian leopards.

You have photos to show us? Is not common find photographic material for leopards from those regions.
Thanks ngala for response. I will post pictures as soon as I get on pc. Now I am on my mobile.
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United States Pckts Online
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( This post was last modified: 11-03-2016, 08:22 AM by Pckts )

If leopards in Tanzania (Serengeti in particular) aren't as large as the leopards you mentioned @peter , I'd love to see those other guys in person, because the big guy male leopard I saw in the Serengeti was huge!
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tigerluver Offline
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#88


*This image is copyright of its original author


From Patterns of sexual dimorphism in the Persian Leopard (Panthera pardus saxicolor) and implications for sex differentiation by Farhadinia et al. (2014).
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United States Pckts Online
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91 kg is a large leopard.
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India parvez Offline
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Here are the links for the pictures @Ngala @peter
https://www.instagram.com/p/BA-RhK7Mrip/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BCfspSesroz/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BG5Dr8JMrlC/
https://www.instagram.com/p/BKizBkiBUfZ/
https://www.instagram.com/p/_93MsjMroV/
Here is the video,
https://www.instagram.com/p/BL9JdGyAUe4/

Those are some big specimens out there. I assume they must be bigger than persian leopards considering how big they can get.
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