Clouded leopards are wild cats that can hang upside down due to having such strong paws that allow them to grip onto trees. These creatures are native to Southeast Asia and are actually not closely related to the leopard, despite its name. Clouded leopards climb down trees in a headfirst manner similar to squirrels, which is made possible by the wild cat’s rotating rear ankles. Researchers actually know little about the behavior of the clouded leopard in the wild as the species is generally reclusive, so opportunities to observe the wild cats are rare. The clouded leopard is considered vulnerable, with estimates of less than 10,000 remaining in the wild.
More about clouded leopards:
- Clouded leopards have the largest pointy canine teeth in proportion to their faces than any other feline.
- It is thought that the clouded leopard has become extinct in the East Asian country of Taiwan--the last confirmed spotting on record was in 1989.
- Prey of the clouded leopard is thought to include monkeys, porcupines, goats, and deer which the wild cats may capture by their ability to hang upside down before dropping down to attack.