Facts about Big Cats

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1. Lions have the loudest big cat roar
A lion’s roar is audible from as far as five miles away. The African lion has the longest larynx of all big cats hence it has the loudest roar. However not all big cats can roar. Some cats like the Cougars and the snow leopards are unable to roar. The Cougars make chirping and yowling sounds and the snow leopards hiss, mew, chuff and growl.

2. Amur leopard is the World’s rarest big cat
The world’s rarest big cat is the Amur leopard. This cat is hunted mostly for its beautiful spotted fur. It is an incredible cat that can leap more than 19 feet horizontally and up to ten feet vertically. New census data shows that the numbers of Amur leopard have increased to at least 57 compared to 2007 when they were just 30 in the wild.

3. Lions are the most social big cats
Lions tend to be the most social cats living exclusively in groups known as prides. Members of prides are very affectionate with each other as seen in plenty of cuddling and mutual grooming when they are taking a rest. Prides also work as teams to bring down prey that is shared among members. Most big cats are typically loners while others live in pairs.

4. Cougar is the big cat species with most names
The Guinness world record identifies the cougar as the species with the most names. This cat species has over forty names in the English language only. The names include the puma, mountain lion, catamount, ghost cat, mountain screamer and panther.

5. Tiger is World’s largest cat species
The world’s largest cat species is the Tiger. Male tigers from the Siberian sub species are the biggest, weighing between 400 and 675 pounds. This tiger species grows to attain a length of between 6 and 7.5 feet long.

6. Big cat statistics are declining
During early 1900s, there were about 100,000 tigers in the wild. Today, this number has reduced to about 3200 in the wild. Only 250 Javan leopards are estimated to be in the world with recent surveys showing state there are fewer than 30,000 lions living in the wild in Africa. This reduction in big cat population is largely due to poaching. The cougar population is the most stable, but there is one endangered subspecies. The Florid Panther has only about 100 individuals left. The population of cheetah, which is the fastest big cat species with a top speed of 64 miles per hour is estimated at about 9,000 and 12,000 in the wild today.

7. Big cat’s life expectancy
Out of all big cat species, female tigers have the longest life span of 26 years in the wild. Lions have a lifespan of about 12 years in the wild. The average life span of Jaguars is roughly twelve to fifteen years. Most big cats have a life expectancy of ten to eighteen years in the wild but these increase to about twenty-nine years in captivity.
8. Big cats are pure carnivores
Big cats are known to be strictly carnivorous. However, in situations where food is scarce, big cats such as cougars catch whatever is edible including insects.

9. Jaguars have the strongest jaws
Out of all big cat species, the jaguar has the strongest jaw. This cat can bite with two thousand pounds of force. A jaguar’s bite is twice as strong as that of a lion. Out of all mammals, the jaguar comes second to the hyena in terms of the strength of its bites.

10. Big cats perfume obsession
Scientists have found that the smell of Calvin Klein’s men perfumes attracts big cats including lions and tigers. The perfume’s effect on big cats is so potent that it is used in the field by conservationists as well as scientists to count the population big cats.

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