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Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis).—Warren Garst/Tom Stack and Associates
Species (Leopardus pardalis) of cat found in forests, grasslands, and brush-covered regions from Texas to northern Argentina. The ocelot is 36–52 in. (90–130 cm) long, excluding the 12–16-in. (30–40-cm) tail. It stands about 18 in. (45 cm) and weighs 24–35 lbs (11–16 kg). The upper body varies from whitish to tawny yellow to gray. The head, neck, and body are marked by specific patterns of black stripes and spots: spots on the head, two stripes on each cheek, oblong spots arranged in chainlike bands on the body, and bars or blotches on the tail. The ocelot hunts at night for small mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. It is listed as an endangered species in the U.S.
This entry comes from Encyclopædia Britannica Concise. For the full entry on ocelot, visit Britannica.com.