Which Wild Cats Can Hang Upside down?

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.
More Info: nationalgeographic.com

Discussion Comments


I think that I read somewhere that the Margray is another wild cat that can hang upside down but it can still do it while hanging on with only one foot.


Despite being a species of leopard, what's unique about these creatures is their ability to hang from trees and catch their prey. I'm assuming that's where the name comes from. Either that, or because of the spots on their skin. That's the interesting thing about many animals. Whether they fall under the same category or not, there's something unique about each of them that separates them from their own kind.


Having never heard of clouded leopards, not only is this article an interesting read, but even more so, their diet is really something else. After all, when was the last time you heard about leopards that eat deer, porcupines and goats? While many leopards don't live in the same habitat as these animals, in this case, I think it makes perfect sense. These are a different type of leopard, and just because one species lives in a specific place (such as Africa) doesn't mean all species will live together.


Before reading this article, I hadn't heard of clouded leopards. Thankfully though, the article explains why. Speaking of which, I noticed that it seems to be the case with lots of species. When you do some thorough research, you learn that there are many species of a certain animal that won't be around for much longer. In my opinion, several factors contribute to this. Between the climate changes and human interference, some species are becoming more and more rare, and it's important that we preserve them.

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