ocelot

oceloid, adj.
/os"euh lot', oh"seuh-/, n.
a spotted leopardlike cat, Felis pardalis, ranging from Texas through South America: now greatly reduced in number and endangered in the U.S.
[1765-75; < F, appar. arbitrary shortening of Nahuatl tlalocelotl ocelot, equiv. to tlal(li) earth, land + ocelotl jaguar]

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Species (Leopardus pardalis) of cat found in forests, grasslands, and brush-covered regions from Texas to northern Argentina.

The ocelot is 36–52 in. (90–130 cm) long, excluding the 12–16-in. (30–40-cm) tail. It stands about 18 in. (45 cm) and weighs 24–35 lbs (11–16 kg). The upper body varies from whitish to tawny yellow to gray. The head, neck, and body are marked by specific patterns of black stripes and spots: spots on the head, two stripes on each cheek, oblong spots arranged in chainlike bands on the body, and bars or blotches on the tail. The ocelot hunts at night for small mammals, birds, reptiles, and fish. It is listed as an endangered species in the U.S.

Ocelot (Leopardus pardalis).

Warren Garst
Tom Stack and Associates

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mammal
 spotted cat of the New World, found in lowland areas from Texas southward to northern Argentina. The short, smooth fur is patterned with elongated, black-edged spots that are arranged in chainlike bands. The cat's upper parts vary in colour from light or tawny yellow to gray. There are small black spots on the head, two black stripes on each cheek, and four or five black stripes along the neck. The ocelot's underparts are whitish, spotted with black, and the tail is marked on the upper surface with dark bars or blotches.

      Though larger than domestic cats, ocelots are small compared to jaguars (jaguar). Adults measure about 70–90 cm (28–35 inches) long, not including the tail, and stand about 45 cm (18 inches) at the shoulder. They weigh 11–16 kg (24–35 pounds), with females being generally smaller than males.

 The ocelot is considered terrestrial but also climbs well, inhabiting tropical forests, grasslands, or brush-covered regions. Its traces can be seen as fine scratch marks on fallen logs and as tracks in fresh mud. Ocelots tend to be silent and adapt well to disturbed habitats; thus, they sometimes live near villages. They hunt chiefly at night, feeding upon rodents, birds, reptiles, invertebrates, and fish. Ocelots sometimes move about during the day, keeping themselves hidden in undergrowth, but may rest in more open sites beneath treefalls or among the buttress roots of trees.

      Breeding is not believed to be seasonal, and the gestation period is 70 days. A litter usually contains two or three young that are darker than adults but have a similar coat pattern. The kittens are sheltered in a den and are cared for by the mother.

      Frequently maintained in captivity, the ocelot is one of the most commonly seen of the spotted cats. However, because they have long been hunted for their skins, they can be rare in many areas. In fact, the ocelot population is declining throughout most of its range, and one scrubland subspecies, the Texas ocelot (F. p. albescens), is endangered. The hunting of ocelots and the trading of their pelts are prohibited in the United States and most other countries in the animal's range.

      The margay and the oncilla closely resemble the ocelot in general appearance and range, but the ocelot is larger and has a tail that is shorter than its hind leg. Until recently, these cats were all considered members of the same genus as domestic cats (Felis). DNA studies now indicate that these cats and some other New World species are of a different lineage within the cat (feline) family, Felidae.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • ocelot — [ ɔs(ə)lo ] n. m. • 1765; ocelotl 1640, mot aztèque ♦ Mammifère carnivore (félidés), grand chat sauvage d Amérique à pelage roux tacheté de brun. ⇒ chat tigre . ♢ Fourrure de cet animal. Manteau d ocelot. ● ocelot nom masculin (espagnol ocelote,… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • ocelot — OCELÓT, oceloţi, s.m. Mamifer carnivor din familia felidelor, răspândit în America de Sud, având blana gri cu puncte roşcate, foarte apreciată (Felix sau Leopardus pardalis). – Din fr. ocelot. Trimis de tavilis, 13.09.2007. Sursa: DEX 98  ocelót …   Dicționar Român

  • ocelot — (n.) large wildcat of Central and South America, 1775, from Fr. ocelot, a word formed by French naturalist Georges Louis Leclerc, Comte de Buffon (1707 1788), from Nahuatl ocelotl jaguar (in full tlalocelotl, a compound formed with tlalli field ) …   Etymology dictionary

  • ocelot — [äs′ə lət, äs′əlät΄; ō′sə ət, ō′səlät΄] n. pl. ocelots or ocelot [Fr, use (by BUFFON) of Nahuatl o∶se∶lo∶λ, jaguar] any of various wild, spotted cats of North and South America; esp., a large species (Leopardus pardalis) with a yellow or gray… …   English World dictionary

  • Ocelot — O ce*lot, n. [Mexican ocelotl.] (Zo[ o]l.) An American feline carnivore ({Felis pardalis}). It ranges from the Southwestern United States to Patagonia. It is covered with blackish ocellated spots and blotches, which are variously arranged. The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Ocelot — (Ocelotl, Mbaracaya, Felis pardalis), Art aus der Gattung Katze, Abtheilung Pardel; hat auf rothgraulichem Grunde lange, falbe, schwarz gesäumte Flecken, welche an den Seiten bes. lang sind; Hals u. Bauch weiß, schwarzstreifig; lebt in Südamerika …   Pierer's Universal-Lexikon

  • ocelot — /fr. ɔs(J)&lo/ V. ozelot …   Sinonimi e Contrari. Terza edizione

  • ocelot — ocèlot m DEFINICIJA 1. zool. zvijer (Felis ili Panthera pardus) iz porodice mačaka, živi u Južnoj i Srednjoj Americi; ozelot 2. meton. cijenjeno krzno te životinje ETIMOLOGIJA njem. Ozelot ≃ nahuatl tlalocelotl ≃ tlalli: polje + ocelotl: tigar,… …   Hrvatski jezični portal

  • ocelot — {{/stl 13}}{{stl 8}}rz. mż I, Mc. ocelotocie {{/stl 8}}{{stl 7}} amerykański kot drapieżny, brunatnoszary w liczne nieregularne czarne plamy i pręgi; ceniony ze względu na futro <fr. z azteckiego> {{/stl 7}} …   Langenscheidt Polski wyjaśnień

  • ocelot — ► NOUN ▪ a medium sized striped and spotted wild cat, native to South and Central America. ORIGIN French, from a Nahuatl word meaning field tiger …   English terms dictionary

  • Ocelot — For other uses, see Ocelot (disambiguation). Ocelot[1] Conservation status …   Wikipedia

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