Sunda clouded leopard

Due to their fur being darker with a smaller cloud pattern than clouded leopards, they were classified as a new species in 2006

Spencer Wright

A majestic and elusive creature that roams the dense forests of Borneo and Sumatra, casting a spell of wonder on those fortunate enough to study this rare species. With a coat that shimmers in hues of grayish-yellow or gray, the Sunda clouded leopard carries the ethereal beauty of the clouds, after which it is named. Notably, it boasts a unique double midline on its back, setting it apart from its relatives and adding to its mystique. The body is adorned with small, irregular, cloud-like patterns that serve as excellent camouflage, blending seamlessly into the dappled light of the forest canopy.

One of the most striking physical attributes of the Sunda clouded leopard is its formidable canine teeth. Measuring an impressive 5.1 cm (2 inches) in length, these canines are longer in proportion to skull length than those of any other living cat. This remarkable feature, reminiscent of the prehistoric saber-toothed cats, equips the Sunda clouded leopard with a significant advantage in capturing and subduing its prey, which includes a variety of small to medium-sized mammals and birds found in the dense jungle terrain.

The tail of the Sunda clouded leopard is another marvel of evolution, often as long as the body itself. This long, bushy tail serves as an essential tool for balance and agility, enabling the leopard to navigate the complex architecture of the forest with grace and precision. Such arboreal prowess allows the Sunda clouded leopard to claim the vertical realm of the forest as its own, hunting from the trees and finding refuge in the canopy.

Distribution

Country
Population est.
Status
Year
Comments
Brunei
2015
Indonesia
2015
Sumatera, Kalimantan
Malaysia
2015
Sarawak, Sabah

Recent updates

March 2021: A Sunda clouded leopard was spotted and photographed for the first time in the Kinabatangan Wildlife Sanctuary in Sabah, Malaysia. The sighting was significant as it was the first recorded sighting of the species in the sanctuary.

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Terrestrial / Aquatic

Altricial / Precocial

Polygamous / Monogamous

Dimorphic (size) / Monomorphic

Active: Diurnal / Nocturnal

Social behavior: Solitary / Pack / Herd

Diet: Carnivore / Herbivore / Omnivore / Piscivorous / Insectivore

Migratory: Yes / No

Domesticated: Yes / No

Dangerous: Yes / No