When were ocelots discovered?

We don’t know when ocelots were discovered because it happened at a time before science and record keeping was developed and the classification of the species had taken place. You’d have to go back perhaps hundreds of thousands of years to find the moment when a human first saw an ocelot and killed it no doubt for its skin. Some wild cat species evolved millions of years ago. For example jaguar fossils date from 2.5 million years ago.


The lion evolved in Africa between 1 million and 800,000 years go. I think that it is far to say that the ocelot was first discovered hundreds of thousands of years ago if not a hundred thousand years ago. Hunting and gathering was the way humans survived 1.8 million years ago.

There are fossil records of ocelots from Florida and Arizona in the United States and from the Yucatán in Mexico. They were seen as far north as Arkansas and Arizona in North America. Hundreds of thousands of ocelots have been killed for its coat. What a shame from the cat’s perspective that such a magnificent coat evolved on this cat. In 1970 the US fur market imported 140,000 ocelot pelts. It takes 12.9 skins to make a coat.

We do know that this beautiful species of medium-sized wild cat was first classified by a Swedish botanist and zoologist, Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778). He classified the ocelot in 1758 and called it Leopardus Pardalis. All species are classified in Latin. Perhaps Linnaeus started the convention because he is the founder of modern taxonomy and a lot of his writings were in Latin. He even had a Latin version of is name: Carolus a Linné).

Associated pages (this is a selection. Please search for more):


Ocelot photo by ucumari

Ocelot Sounds

There is a dearth of information on ocelot sounds but what I can gather together, is here. The ocelot is one of the better known small wild cat species. They say that there may some in the very south of … please continue reading

Are There Ocelots in Texas?

The trouble in answering the question, “Are there ocelots in Texas?”, is that we don’t know for sure because even when you check with the most authoritative sources you get rather vague answers.  The most authoritative source currently on the … please continue reading

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About Michael Broad

Michael is retired! He retired at age 57 and at Aug 2018 is approaching 70. He worked in many jobs. The last job he did was as a solicitor practicing general law. He loves animals and is passionate about animal welfare. He also loves photography and nature. He hates animal abuse. He has owned and managed this site since 2007. There are around 13k pages so please use the custom search facility!


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