Confirmed: 'How leopards really did get their spots'

A British team has proved the author's theory in the 'Just So' stories that unusual pattern provided camouflage to the leopards in an environment "full of trees and bushes and stripy, speckly, patchy-blatchy shadows".

The scientists have shown that animals live in dense habitats in the trees and active at low light levels are the most likely to be patterned, especially with particularly irregular or complex shapes.

William Allen of University of Bristol, who led the team, investigated the markings of 35 species of wild cats and found their beautiful and intriguing variation is down to evolution, 'The Daily Telegraph' reported.

Allen said: "Rudyard Kipling was wrong by suggesting how leopard got their spots as the fingerprints of a man. But he was right about the reason because they provide the perfect camouflage in a forest habitat with dappled light.

"The spotted pattern also allows them to have camouflage in a wider variety of habitats unlike, say, the black leopards who stand out in any environment other than dense rainforest and darkness."

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