Species: Leopardus pardalis
Ocelot Conservation Status: http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/11509/0
The Ocelot is also known as the dwarf leopard and is 68-100 cm (27-39 in) in length. It typically weighs 8-18 kg (18-40 lb), although much larger individuals have occasionally been recorded. Its fur is gorgeous and resembles a Clouded Leopard’s.
The Ocelot lives all over South America, in some areas of Central America, and on the islands of Trinidad and Margarita. It can be found in Mexico, and occasionally in the American states of Texas and Arizona. Ocelots can be found in tropical forest, thorn forest, mangrove swamps, savanna, and at elevations ranging up to 1,200 meters (3,900 ft).
The health of an ecosystem can be judged by how well its predators are doing – especially apex predators (the ones at the very top of the food chain). Ocelots are a top predator and since they are thriving, it bodes very well for all the other inhabitants of the jungles and chaparral that it inhabits. Ocelots live up to 20 years.
The Ocelot is extremely fierce about guarding its territory and has been known to fight to the death to defend it. It’s a solitary creature and like many cats, marks its territory by spraying urine. It will also use communal latrines on occasion (public toilets for other Ocelots).
*Note. Other animals with communal latrines include raccoons, Eurasian Badgers, elephants, deer, antelopes, and horses.
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