Featured image: Siberian tiger cub, Amneville Zoo. MC84 OOZ57. CC BY-SA 4.0.
Take a look at some of the melanistic cats at Big Cat Rescue and learn why a feline black panther hasn’t been confirmed yet.
Clouded leopards are adorable.
The “clouds” are those beautiful dark blotches on the coat.
These wild felines aren’t close relatives of the leopard, but modern research shows that clouded leopards do belong with the big cats. Their head and face are a little weird looking. That could be because these Southeast Asian cats are primitive – the first big cats to evolve some 11 million years ago. But some paleontologists have a different explanation for it.
The world’s most famous spotted cat is a little better off than other big cats. Although its range has shrunk, the leopard still calls two continents home. Since leopards can adapt to almost any environment from sea level up to around 17,000 feet in the Himalayas, you will find them in most of sub-Saharan Africa and across much of southern/northeast Asia. While the overall species isn’t endangered, some leopard subspecies are. But in India the high numbers of both leopards and people are causing serious problems.
Oh, this cat doesn’t need an introduction! Let’s just set out a few basic facts, focusing on some things about Leo that you might not have heard yet. For instance, did you know that the King of the Beasts is not actually the biggest cat out there?
Imagine a leopard. Now make it a little bigger, shorten the legs a bit, and pack even more muscle onto that strong frame. Increase its head size and give it the most powerful jaws of any big cat. This is the jaguar – the only big cat native to the New World.