Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor

Peace Crane by Hilary Taylor
Picture by Justin Wyatt
To read Hilary's story buy this special book...

This magical story has a touch of the supernatural. When an injured crane is found and nursed, something happens, something magical and inspiring...

Gentle Footprints launched- AS SEEN ON TV

Gentle Footprints was officially launched Fri June 4th at the Hay Festival with guest speaker Virginia McKenna and some of the authors

Buy from Bridge House Publishing by clicking on the link BUY:


Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Virginia McKenna at Hay Launch

Animal Anthology To Raise Funds for Born Free

Bridge House Publishing announce new book coming Spring 2010. For more about Bridge House please see their website.
This book is the annual charity book for Born Free...if you want to get involved with promoting and selling this book- email me!

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Visit the Born Free Website to find out more about their valuable work...

Tuesday, 13 April 2010

Can a leopard change its spots?

Where did this phrase come from?
Answers on a postcard...

The bible!

Here cones the religious bit then-

Jeremiah 13:23 (King James Version):

Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard his spots? Then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil.

Hmmm... interesting, so they can't then?

Well perhaps in a way they do because like humans, they shed skin and fur so in its lifetime the leopard will regenerate its coat. And I suppose the extreme paleness of the spots in the melanisation process is an alteration that gives us the black panther.

But in reality this phrase that's used a lot in every day language actually has a pretty profound meaning. It's about the innate sense of something; of being what you are and as the human can not change the colour of his skin (or shouldn't be able to- and it still doesn't change who he is) the leopard can't change his spots, not the tiger his stripes and so on.

So why then do humans have an obsession with becoming something else- God I even watched part of the TV show last night about extreme plastic surgery with the guy that became a tiger! And is this not what humans do all the time to animals? They take them from the wild, ask them to live in cages or swimming pools, to perform for treats- I actually think they do it for fear and the hope that the treat they'll be given will be their freedom.

Maybe its the humans that should be changing?

As for leopard skin- synonymous with the image of brassiness and tart is a real shame when you look at the real fur... on the animal...

Now here's the science bit:

Leopards may sometimes be confused with two other large spotted cats, the cheetah and the jaguar. However, the patterns of spots in each are different: the cheetah has simple spots, evenly spread; the jaguar has small spots inside the polygonal rosettes; while the leopard normally has rounder, smaller rosettes than those of the jaguar.

Leopards show a great diversity in physical appearance, particularly because of the wide variations in color coat and rosette patterns. The leopard's rosettes are circular in East Africa but tend to be squarer in southern Africa and larger in Asian populations.The leopard's yellow coat tends to more pale and cream colored in desert populations, more gray in colder climates, and of a darker golden hue in rainforest habitats. Overall, the fur under the belly tends to be lighter colored and of a softer, downy type. Solid black spots in place of open rosettes are generally seen along the face, limbs and underbelly.

How did the leopard get its spots then? No lets not delve into divergent evolution and taxonomy- let's ask the great fiction writer, Rudyard Kipling:

Well there you have it...

But why do people want fur with spots- of you have the time this is very interesting:

I suppose a leopard can change its spots if its fur is ripped off it and made into a coat but I'd know what I prefer to see:

Maybe its not the leopard that needs to change its spots but the human that needs to change its ways.

Tomorrow- Leopards in art and literature

1 comment:

  1. We're top of the food chain so fuck it, we take what we need. People really don't get that we're just like all the other animals, we do what we need to so we can survive. The tribes people that hunt for these furs do so to get money to feed & cloth themselves & their children. I'd rather see a dead leopard than a starving child.