What Do Snow Leopards Look Like?
Snow leopards are medium-sized cats. This means that they will be around 24 inches (61 centimeters) at the shoulder, and between 39 to 51 inches (99 to 129 centimeters) from the nose to the base of the tail. A snow leopard will weigh between 60 and 120 lbs (27 to 55 kilograms). Snow leopards have short forelimbs, long hind limbs, and a thick tail 31 to 39 inches long (around 89 centimeteres). A snow leopard’s paws will be larger than an African leopard’s (Panthera pardus) or a cougar’s (Puma concolor). Their wide feet act like snow shoes. Snow leopards have long fur and thick underfur because of the cold environment in which they live. Their fur varies from white to cream to pale yellow or gray, sprinkled with rosettes (open spots) of charcoal-grey to black. In the wild, they blend perfectly with the rocky slopes where they hunt. Each snow leopard has a unique spot pattern. (See “pelage”) The snow leopard’s tail is its most distinctive physical feature. It is thickly furred and that makes it possible for snow leopards to use their tails as a kind of muffler, wrapping it around their bodies for extra warmth. The long tail is also useful for maintaining balance in the steep, rocky terrain that snow leopards like.
Here are some photographs of a snow leopard named Indeever that show the rosettes very clearly.