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The Evolution the Snow Leopard

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Alex Tran

on 30 April 2015

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Transcript of The Evolution the Snow Leopard

The Evolution the Snow Leopard
By:
Alex Tran

Threats
Poaching - Because of their beautiful fur Snow Leopards are constantly being poached for their fur,bones and other body parts
Revenge Killings- Snow Leopards prey on domestic livestock once in a while but the farmers rely on this livestock to feed their family. Most farmers begin to attack the Snow Leopards to percent further attacks
Overgrazing- The farmers tend to have large herds of livestock that eat all the wild grass, this leaves less food for the Snow Leopards prey (sheep and goats) which reduces the amount of food available to the Snow Leopard
Climate Change- Causes the snow to melt which forces the Snow Leopards to move higher up the mountain, there is less vegetation up there which means less prey for the Snow Leopards which leads to starvation
Future Adaptations
Felis Pardus
Population
A population is all the organisms and animals in a certain area, in this population many organisms rely on each other and its environment to survive.The Snow Leopard is one of the most agile and stealthy animals in its environment. With these attributes the Snow Leopards control the population of the environment. Snow Leopards have no natural predators in their habitat which makes their job of keeping the food chain balanced seem easy but Humans poach these population moderators and there are only 3,500 to 7,000 Leopards left which can put the balance at risk.

Variation
Variation is the differentiation between organisms in the same species. Snow Leopards camouflage have evolved greatly over the past generations. In the previous generations of the Snow Leopard they had lots of black spots to camouflage with the twigs. Now the new generation Felis Pardus has less black spots but a lot more white in its fur to camouflage with the snow. This is because of the climate change forcing the leopards to move higher up the mountain where there is less vegetation. Eventually all the Leopards with more black spots died because they could be seen by poachers but the Leopards with the white stripes strived because they could not be seen.

Environmental Change
Due to climate change the snow lines are decreasing. When the snow lines decrease the Snow Leopards are forced to migrate further up the mountain. The higher you go up the mountain the more you'll see that there are no trees or shrubs without the vegetation the black spots on a Leopard's fur becomes obsolete because they are now more noticeable rather than providing any camouflage at all. As the now Leopards settle in the Leopards with the whiter fur with less spots survive because the Leopards with Spots are more noticeable. Thus the Snow Leopards with white fur will flourish in their new environment while the spotted fur dies off, eventually there will only be white fur mating with white fur Leopards which causes the spotted fur population to die out.

Extra set of legs - allow the Snow Leopard to run faster away from predators and towards its prey
Extra tail - allows the Leopard to balance on the slippery snow as it treads through the mountain swiftly.
Sharper teeth - Allows the Snow Leopard to eat faster and get out of the area as soon as possible to avoid any poachers.

Horn -The horn can be used for self defense from other Snow Leopards. Snow leopards are very territorial and work alone therefore in any cases of a conflict the Snow Leopard can use the horn to fight other Leopards or threats.


Improved camouflage - As the Leopards move higher up the mountain vegetation becomes rare thus the black rings on the Snow Leopards fur becomes less useful. The improved camouflage has induced more white into the fur so it can camouflage with the snow rather than the twigs.

Evolving for the future
The improved camouflage helped my animal evolve, the first generation Snow Leopards originally had fur that was golden/brown with a hint of white and black spots that camouflage worked well at the lower elevation of the mountains because of the mixture of rocks,twigs and snow. Now because of climate change the Snow Leopards have to move further up the mountain where there is less vegetation and more snow therefore the Snow Leopards that have more white in their fur will survive because they have better camouflage from their predators.


Through natural selection one variation thrives while the other becomes extinct. In this case the Snow Leopards with fur that had less black spots and more white stripes survived while the Snow Leopards with the fur that had more black spots died off since they're more noticeable and cannot camouflage in the snow which leads to their death.

Selection
Heredity

The Snow Leopards that survive continue to live and reproduce more offspring with the evolved adaptation in order for the species to thrive which will lead it out of extinction. So the Snow Leopards with the whiter fur will go on and survive. Their babies will also have the white fur because their parents will pass down the genes for white fur until eventually all the Snow Leopards that have black spots die out and all that remain is white fur Snow Leopards.

Time

The process of evolution for this species took six genrations! This is because as time passed the snow line decreased slowly thus, the change in fur was progressive but at a very slow rate
Evolutionary Tree
As you can see this species has evolved greatly from its original ancestor.

Biogeography
Scientist have found that most of the Snow Leopards are being born and raised in Central Asia, in addition they have found that most of the fossils in the area belong to Snow Leopard eventually they started to expand and migrate to places like Iran and China
Fossil Record
Several fossils found in Central Asia suggest that over time the Snow Leopard showed skeletal differences as time progressed. This was proven with radioactive dating.
Comparative Anatomy
There are many similarities between the Snow Leopard and
Felis Pardus such as the same skull structure, the same rib cage structure and the same neck bones
Some differences are the obvious horn and the set of extra leg bones, although these are dramatic differences we can see a very similar skeleton when we put the two side by side
Comparative Embryology
As you can see the embryo has evolved greatly after 7 generation from a useless Snow Leopard to the amazing
Felis Pardus
such the new traits are shown in the embryonic stage from the bump on its head to the extra little limb for the tail already starting to grow
Genetics & Molecular Biology
Skin cells in the fossil rocks were found and compared to Felis Pardus DNA after scientest analyzed the skins cells results showed a 98% similarity between the Snow Leopard and Felis Pardus. This tells us that for sure they shared a common ancestor and that Felis Pardus is a evolved variant of the Snow Leopard
Felis Pardus
Work Cited
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FSnow_leopard&ei=UrVBVZfnIIeuggSah4DoBg&bvm=bv.92189499,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNGRWQ9dnvUZlPHP7Qnx_0nGz6PxkQ&ust=1430456015533087
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.thinglink.com%2Fscene%2F593873465509937153&ei=sbVBVZ3DH8GqggTQi4CACw&bvm=bv.92189499,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNGRWQ9dnvUZlPHP7Qnx_0nGz6PxkQ&ust=1430456015533087
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fen.wikipedia.org%2Fwiki%2FSnow_leopard&ei=67VBVbXQFILTggSAyoH4DQ&bvm=bv.92189499,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNGRWQ9dnvUZlPHP7Qnx_0nGz6PxkQ&ust=1430456015533087
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=images&cd=&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CAcQjRw&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.dailymail.co.uk%2Fnews%2Farticle-2525754%2FThe-greatest-gift-snow-leopard-wish-snow-Young-cub-delights-visitors-public-debut-frolicks-mother.html&ei=M7ZBVdnEIcHbgwS4yoL4Aw&bvm=bv.92189499,d.eXY&psig=AFQjCNGRWQ9dnvUZlPHP7Qnx_0nGz6PxkQ&ust=1430456015533087
http://www.defenders.org/snow-leopard/threats
http://animals.nationalgeographic.com/animals/mammals/snow-leopard/
http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/22732/0
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