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Why haven't leopards formed several species?
#1
Leopards have such a large geographical range and with diverse habitats.  Yet there is only 1 species of leopard, although there are 8 recognized subspecies (although the map below shows 9 subspecies for some reason).  Why do you suppose leopards haven't formed several species?  Or do you think leopards have speciated in the past, but those other species have become extinct?

From Wikipidia's leopard article:  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Leopard
[Image: Panthera_pardus_subspecies_map.png]
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#2
Welcome GilaMonster - I suppose in the past their distribution was continuous rather than fragmented and isolated like on the map you posted. Given time, maybe enough significant differences will evolve in isolated populations, to consider them a new species rather than subspecies. Panthera pardus orientalis appears to the one headed that way IMO.
[Image: wildcat10-CougarHuntingDeer.jpg]
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#3
Is there anything special specifically with the Amur Leopard?
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#4
(05-26-2019, 10:22 PM)Taipan Wrote: Welcome GilaMonster - I suppose in the past their distribution was continuous rather than fragmented and isolated like on the map you posted. Given time, maybe enough significant differences will evolve in isolated populations, to consider them a new species rather than subspecies. Panthera pardus orientalis appears to the one headed that way IMO.

Thank you Taipan.  That's probably true that their distribution was more continuous in the past.  According to the same Wikipedia article, the leopard appears to be closely related to the lion and the jaguar.  The jaguar can resemble a leopard to the untrained eye.  But the lion looks very different from the leopard or even to the jaguar especially the male lion.  I guess there were transition species between lions and leopards (and jaguars) but these transition species have disappeared.

(05-26-2019, 10:37 PM)Ryo Wrote: Is there anything special specifically with the Amur Leopard?

I'd like to know also if there's anything special with the Amur Leopard.
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