Tuesday, August 7, 2012

The Big cats

The big cats
     The term big cat – which is not a biological classification – is used informally to distinguish the larger felid species from smaller ones. One definition of "big cat" includes the four members of the genus Panthera: the tiger, lion, jaguar and leopard. Members of this genus are the only cats able to roar. A more expansive definition of "big cat" also includes the cougar, cheetah, snow leopard and clouded leopard.

     Despite enormous differences in size, the various species of cat are quite similar in both structure and behavior, with the exception of the cheetah, which is significantly different from any of the big or small cats. All cats are carnivores and efficient apex predators.[1] Their range includes the Americas, Africa, Asia and Europe.

     The ability to roar comes from an elongated and specially adapted larynx and hyoid apparatus.[2] (However, neither the snow leopard nor the cheetah can roar, despite having hyoid morphology similar to roaring cats.) When air passes through the larynx on the way from the lungs, the cartilage walls of the larynx vibrate, producing sound. The lion's larynx is longest, giving it the most robust roar.

Some Family of The big cats are :

- Genus Panthera (roaring or great cats)

Tiger (genus : panthera)
  • Tiger, Panthera tigris (Asia)
  • Lion, Panthera leo (Africa, Gir Forest in India; extinct in former range of southeast Europe, Middle East, much of Asia, and North America)
  • Jaguar, Panthera onca (the Americas; from the Southern United States and Mexico to northern Argentina)
  • Leopard, Panthera pardus (Asia and Africa)

- Genus Acinonyx

  • Cheetah, Acinonyx jubatus (Africa and Iran; extinct in former range of India)

- Genus Puma

  • Cougar, Puma concolor (North and South America)

Snow Leopard (genus : Uncia)
- Genus Uncia

  • Snow Leopard, Uncia uncia (mountains of central and south Asia)

- Genus Neofelis

  • Clouded Leopard, Neofelis nebulosa (southeast and south Asia)
  • Sunda Clouded Leopard, Neofelis diardi (Borneo and Sumatra)

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