The clouded leopard is named after the distinctive 'clouds' on its coat - ellipses partially edged in black, with the insides a darker colour than the background colour of the pelt (4). The base of the fur is a pale yellow to rich brown, making the darker cloud-like markings look even more distinctive (5). The limbs and underbelly are marked with large black ovals, and the back of its neck is conspicuously marked with two thick black bars (6). The clouded leopard is about the size of a small Labrador retriever with a body length of up to 90 cm, an intermediate size between the large and small cats of the world (4). It does, however, have an exceptionally long tail for balancing, which can be as long as the body itself, thick with black ring markings (2). In proportion to its body size it also has the largest canines of all the cats, a feature that has earned this cat the reputation of being the 'modern day sabre-tooth' (5). Well adapted to forest life, the clouded leopard also has relatively short legs and broad paws which make it excellent at climbing trees and creeping through thick forest (7).
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