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Mammal. The ocelot is an amazing climber with a sleek, compact body, about twice the length of a housecat. Ocelots rest in the trees during the day, and hunt mostly on the ground at night. They have excellent hearing and eyesight, and even though they hunt in the dark, they chase their prey with great speed and agility. Adult female ocelots defend an exclusive territory of about 11 square kilometers (6.8 square miles). While most other cats have 38 chromosomes, ocelots have only 36. As a result, the ocelot is in the genus Leopardus, along with the margay and the oncilla who share this characteristic.
Scientific Name Lifespan
Leopardus pardalis 10 years, 17 in captivity
Carnivore. Rabbits, young deer, peccaries, rodents, lizards, snakes, and birds.
Predators and Threats
Bobcats, coyotes, and humans.
Dense, thorny, low brush such as spiny hackberry, lotebush, and blackbrush, jungles, dense forests; Southwestern Texas to Paraguay and northern Argentina, and mountainous areas of Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.