Scientific Name: Lepardus pardalis
IUCN Status: Least Concern
Weight: 14-41 pounds
The ocelot shows high genetic diversity across its range with four distinct population clusters. 10 subspecies are currently described. The ocelot is the third largest cat in Latin America. Ocelots are built with thick limbs and a relatively short, tubular tail. The head is powerfully built with a blocky muzzle. Ears are rounded with a black with white central spot on the back. The paws are heavily built, with the forepaws being larger then the hind-paws. The fur is dense and soft, and very variable in background colour, in shades of creamy-buff, tawny, cinnamon, red-brown, and grey with white underparts. The have rich markings with highly variable combinations of black open and solid blotches, streaks, and rosettes with russet-brown centres. Rings are on the tail witch ends in a black tip.
Their muscular build, large powerful forepaws, robust skull with large canines enable the ocelot to overpower large prey items including sloths, howler monkeys, and juvenile White-tailed Deer, however, the ocelot generally sustains itself on small to medium mammals, vertebrate, rodents, reptiles, and birds.
The ocelot has a very low reproductive rate with a fairly long gestation, and very small litters. Breeding is aseasonal, and gestation is 79-82 days with a litter size of only 1 or 2 kittens.