An Amazonian Wildcat: The Ocelot
Body type and look
The Ocelot is also known as McKenny's Wildcat. It looks more like a double sized cat and is a member of the leopard family.
- Scientific Name: Leopardus Paradis
- Size: 28"-35"
- Weight: 9-14 kgs
It's dappled coat looks very similar to that of a tiger or a leopard. Hunters and poachers made money selling the skins of ocelots during the earlier periods. This was put to a stop by forest conservation measures taken by the United States.
The Ocelot's preliminary diet consists of meat.
Rabbits, rodents, iguanas, small deer, fish and frogs are its basic source of food and sustenance.
Interestingly, the Ocelot's teeth aren't meant for chewing... but are more suitable for tearing. So the beast tears through it's meaty meal with its sharp, jagged teeth and swallows it whole.
Unlike most cats, the Ocelot faces no problems with water.
In fact, its sleek body is perfect for swimming and that is how the Ocelot manages to retain fish in its daily diet.
With the powerful fore and tri muscles, the Ocelot is a very capable and swift hunter as well. Especially in the canopy, it is a highly feared predator. It hunts monkeys and birds in the higher branches.
The Ocelot is majorly found now, in South America, Central America and some part of Mexico and Texas.
In South America, the habitat of this feline extends from Argentina to Belize.
Earlier it used to occupy more parts of the southern and central Americas but with extended poaching and habitat destruction, the numbers of Ocelots in these areas dwindled as well.
The felines prefer to openly hunt at night using the regular trails and paths of the dense forests and grasslands.
Yet, at night these beasts hide in the undergrowth and thick grasses, so as to gain camouflage and hunt easily.