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Big Cats

Big Cats
Big cat refers to large wild felids of the Americas, Africa, Asia, and Europe. Australia and Antarctica have no indigenous species of cats. The term big cat is used to distinguish truly large felids, which can weigh several hundred pounds, from much smaller Felidae species. Despite enormous differences in size, the various species of cat are amazingly similar in both structure and behavior. All cats are carnivores and efficient predators. The largest cats are members of the genus Panthera. One definition of big cat includes only the four species of Panthera (lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars). Members of this genus can roar while other cats cannot. Consequently, the ability to roar is sometimes considered a distinguishing characteristic of big cats. In addition to the genus Panthera, four other species (cheetahs, snow leopards, clouded leopards and pumas), with adult males weighing as much as 150 lb (70 kg) or slightly more, are often considered to be big cats. Some medium-sized cats like Eurasian lynxes may weigh as much as 55 lb (25 kg), considerably outweighing the domestic cat, but are not considered big cats.




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Puma (Profelis concolor)
America's allrounder
Many animal species are adapted to quite narrow habitats providing certain living conditions. This is not different concerning cats: Cheetahs, eg., are animals which are able to survive only in savannas and semi-deserts, while Tigers are "forest creatures", which prefer habitats with a lot of trees and much water. But on the other hand there are also species, which are real allrounders, inhabiting all kinds of habitats in many subspecies. The most prominent examples are the Leopard in Africa and Asia and its American counterpart - the Puma.
Rate:  (4.2)
Bengal Tiger (Panthera tigris tigris)
Tigers in the Wild:Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Myanmar and Nepal
Most Bengal tigers live in India, and some range through Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and Myanmar. Their esimated population is approximately 3,250-4,700 tigers, with roughly 333 in captivity, mostly in zoos in India. White tigers are basicaly a color variant of the Bengal tiger and are rarely found in the wild. The Bengal tiger is found mainly throughout India, with smaller populations in southern Nepal, Bangladesh, Bhutan, and western Myanmar.The Cat Specialist Group IUCN reported an approximate total of 3,250 to 4,700 Bengal tigers throughout the range in 1995. For several decades, the st...
Rate:  (3.7)
Fishing Cat (Prionailurus viverrinus)
Order: Carnivora, Family: Felidae
Oriental: Fishing cats are found from India through Indochina, Indonesia, and Java. Fishing cats are 38 to 41 cm tall and can be from 96 to 120 cm long. The larger males weigh between 10 and 12 kg, and females weigh 5 to 7 kg. They have powerful, stocky bodies and short legs, giving the fishing cat a civet-like appearance. P. viverrinus have big, broad heads, and with tails that are less than half of the head and body length, are considered to have short tails compared to other cat species. Their pelts are olive gray with rows of parallel solid black spots that often form stripes along the ...
Rate:  (3)
Clouded Leopard / Clouded Tiger / Mint Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)
Order: Carnivora,Family: Felidae
The clouded leopard is the largest of the small to medium cats. With an average body length of 2 to 3 feet, this cat has a long, bushy tail measuring 2 1/2 to 3 feet and relatively short legs with large, broad paws. Males weigh approximately 40 to 60 pounds; females are smaller. The clouded leopard's fur is pale yellow to rich brown. Its underside is pale or white with several spots; the neck and back are streaked with pale, elongated blotches edged with dark brown or black; the head and legs are usually spotted; and the tail is heavily furred and marked with broken black rings. It h...
Rate:  (4.5)
Canadian Lynx (Lynx canadensis)
Order: Carnivora, Family: Felidae
Lynx weigh between 10 and 40 pounds. They vary in color but are normally yellowish brown. The upper parts may have a frosted, gray look, and the underside may be more buff. Many individuals have dark spots. The lynx's tail is quite short and is often ringed and tipped with black. Fur on the body is long and thick, and is particularly long on the neck in winter. The lynx's triangular ears are tipped with tufts of long black hairs. Its paws are quite large and furry, helping to distribute its weight when moving on snow. The lynx is between 3 and 3 1/2 feet long, and its tai...
Rate:  (4.1)
Bobcat (Lynx rufus)
Order: Carnivora, Family: Felidae
Bobcats have long legs and large paws; stubby tails; rounded heads and slightly tufted ears. Males are usually larger than females. The bobcat's coloring varies depending on its geographic location. Bobcats inhabiting timber and heavy brush fields tend toward dark and rust-colored tones, while those found in northeastern California generally are a paler tawny-gray, often with a complete absence of spots on the back and less distinct markings; end of the tail is black tipped with white; upper legs have dark bars and face has thin, black lines radiating onto broad cheek ruff; black tufts ...
Rate:  (4.3)
Lion
Social groups of lions, called prides, are composed of one to three males, two to fifteen females, and their offspring. Sometimes young males form their own satellite group. The males protect the territory and get to eat first; the lionesses do most of the hunting. They generally stalk and chase their prey, killing with a bite to the neck although they can also kill with a single back-breaking swat of the paw. Lions usually hunt at night and spend almost twenty hours a day sleeping or lounging with their playful cubs.
Rate:  (4.2)
Lion (Panthera Leo)
Order: Carnivora, Family: Felidae
Lions are low to the ground, but large and powerful. The average male weighs 416 pounds and stands 48 inches high. The average female weighs 277 pounds and measures 44 inches tall. The lion's coat is short except for a tufted tail, and in the male's case, the mane, which it starts to grow at 3 years of age. Lions are tawny in color, with males having buff-colored underparts and females white. The backs of its ears, as well as its tail tuft and lips, are black. Manes vary from blond to black. Cubs are born with woolly gray, spotted fur, and begin to get their adult coats at 3 m...
Rate:  (3.6)
Lions in the Water
If not for the efforts of ecologist Christiaan Winterbach and his wife, Hanlie, the swimming lions of the Okavango Delta still would be shrouded in mystery. The husband-and-wife team run a monitoring project that seeks to understand how lions are managing to live in this land of seasonal flooding. We caught up with ecologist Christiaan Winterbach to ask him a few questions about the project and to find out how the swimming lions have been doing since filming.
Rate:  (3)
Leopard (Panthera pardus)
Order: Carnivora, Family: Felidae
The leopard could at one time be found from the British Isles to Japan and throughout most of Asia. Today they can still be found in Africa, except for the true deserts of Sahara and Kalahari, and some parts of Asia such as Sri Lanka. Leopards are more common in eastern and central Africa. Conversely, they are rare in western and northern Africa and most of Asia.
Rate:  (3.7)
Jaguar
One of the largest members in the family Felidae, the jaguar is a proficient hunter of a variety of small and large vertebrates on the ground and in the trees. Highly territorial over an extensive home range of up to about eighty square miles (200 sq km), it lives a solitary life except during the breeding season, when male and female come together to mate and reproduce. After the young are born, the female becomes highly aggressive toward any perceived threat which can include the father. The young may stay with the mother for up to two years as they hone their hunting skills....
Rate:  (4.4)
Jaguar (Panthera onca)
Order: Carnivora, Family: Panthera
Dense forest-dwelling jaguars are darker in color than jaguars that inhabit grasslands and scrub forests. Females are generally lighter in color than males. The jaguar has a large, broad, rounded head, stocky legs with retractable claws and a muscular body. Its coat is soft and woolly with short, smooth hairs. The belly is white, and the chest is paler than the rest of the body. It has large eyes. Jaguars measure approximately 4 to 6 feet in length with a 17- to 30-inch-long tail. They weigh 125 to 260 pounds; females are 20 percent smaller than males.
Rate:  (4.6)
Cheetah
The cheetah can reach speeds of sixty-eight miles (110 km) per hour, making it the fastest mammal in the world. It has non-retractable claws (unlike those of other cats), which provide it with better traction when it runs on soft ground. Unlike most large cats, which hunt by ambush, the cheetah chases its prey at high speed, using its tail as a stabilizer, especially when making tight turns.
Rate:  (3.7)
African Wildcat (Felis silvestris libyca)
Order: Carnivora, Family: Felidae
Ethiopian: Felis silvestris libyca is found throughout Africa except for the great deserts and the equatorial rainforests. It has the ability to tolerate a broad range of habitats, including coniferous forest, brushland, and rocky outcrops. It prefers areas where nesting birds and small mammals live, often living in the confines of grasslands and waterways, where its prey is most abundant.
Rate:  (4.6)
Caracal (Felis caracal)
Order: Carnivora, Family: Felidae
The heaviest of all the small cats, the caracal is relatively short in length, with long legs and big feet. Its hindquarters are more developed than its forequarters. Males weigh 26 to 40 pounds and are 16 to 20 inches in height. Females weigh 18 to 29 pounds and are 5 to 8 percent smaller. The caracal's tail measures half the length of its body. Its head is short with powerful jaws. Caracals have reddish-brown fur on their back and flanks, while their underparts are white with faint spots. They have dark markings on their cheeks and above their eyes edged with white. The carac...
Rate:  (3.9)