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Ocelot Leopardus pardalis (Linnaeus, 1758)
Least Concern
Very little is known about wild ocelots, even though they are popular as pets in North America. Pet ocelots are reputed to be very docile. They strongly resemble the closely related margay, and are generally twice the size of a margay or a domestic cat. Ocelots have much shorter tails than margays reflecting their less arboreal nature.

Ground colours of the short fur of the ocelot, varies from creamy, or tawny yellow, to reddish grey and grey. The underside of the body, tail, and insides of the limbs is whitish. Rather more blotched than spotted, the chain-like spots are bordered with black. Ocelots have both solid and open dark spots which sometimes run in lines along the body. The back of the ears is black with a central yellowy/white band. Solid black spots mark the head and limbs. There are two black stripes on the cheeks and one or two transverse bars on the insides of the forelegs. The tail is either ringed or marked with dark bars on its upper surface. The eye sockets or orbits are incomplete at the back, and the anterior upper premolars are present. There is no information regarding melanistic or all-black ocelots.

Ocelots have 36 chromosomes. Most of the other species of cats have 38. This has led some workers to separate them, with the margay and oncilla into a separate genus. Wozencraft (1993) in the latest, controversial, review of felid systematics placed the margay (L. wiedii), the oncilla (L. tigrina), and ocelot together, in the genus Leopardus.

Principal Dimensions
Overall Males Females
Head and body lengths (cm) - - -
Height at shoulder (cm) - - -
Tail lengths (cm) - - -
Weight (kg) - - -
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