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Re: Predator relationships

Michael wrote:
> > From:          Chris Campbell <sankarah@ou.edu>
>  Interestingly, though, the cheetah is on average larger than
> > most leopards;
> "Panthera pardus" is the leopard I assume you are referring
> to(Africa,Asia,Middle East, India).  Females are rather small at
> 90-105lbs, but males reach 150 routinely and 200 not unusually.  Male
> cheetahs average about 90-105lbs with females 80-95.  Neither is a
> match for a leopard, male or female.  

Okay, my source on that was _Walker's Mammals of the World_, which gave
sizes for male and female leopards but only a single size for cheetahs
in general.  That average (which I assumed was males and females) was
larger than the size given for female leopards, which is where my
comment came from.  The sizes I have are 28-60 kg and 37-90 kg for
female and male leopards, respectively, and 35-72 kg for cheetahs.  This
gives an upper end to their (cheetahs) size that's much greater than
that given in your source, apparently.  That's a big animal, very close
in size to the leopard; I retract my comment, though, as it is a bit of
an exaggeration.

> Leopards are the Michael
> Jordans of the big cats.  They can easily leap 10feet up in the air
> and 20-25 feet horizontally.  They are pound for pound possibly the
> strongest of the big cats, and can easily kill a man.  You can walk
> with cheetahs, but I wouldn't recommend it with a leopard.

I wouldn't recommend it with either, actually.  However, I do indeed
have more respect for leopards than any other cat.
> > it could fight off a lone hyena or maybe even two
> > relatively easily, but not without risk of injury.
> Cheetahs don't mess with hyenas, period.  

Note that I said they *could* do it; I never said they did.  They don't
fight much of anything other than jackals and vultures.

>A hyena is higher on the totem pole than the leopard, and one on one 
> will steal a leopards meal.

That really depends on the circumstances more than anything else.  If
that hyena is truly alone and is tackling a big leopard, it won't get
very far.
> I would recommend "Great Cats and Their Fossil Relatives".

My copy says "Big Cats and Their Fossil Relatives", but your point is
noted.  :)
> BTW, I rechecked, and sabre tooths are not conical but blade like
> hence the names dirk and sabre.  At least some were sharp/and or
> serrated.  

I have a cast of a fossil tooth sitting on my desk at the moment and it
agrees with you.  I'm wondering where this notion of conical sabre-teeth
came from.

> Apparently many lived in burrows dug by giant tortoise,
> which I thought would interest some on the list re:dinosaurs and
> burrows.  Also, it's thought most did not die killing prey, just like
> todays predators(personal communication latter statement).

Well, it's not terribly surprising, is it?  I would expect them to have
quite a bit in common with todays cats.