We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What are the Big Cats?

Michael Anissimov
By
Updated Jun 04, 2024
Our promise to you
All Things Nature is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At All Things Nature, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

The big cats include all the species in genera Panthera — the tiger, lion, leopard, and jaguar. All these cats can roar, and are sometimes called great cats. Another, more expansive definition of the big cats includes the cheetah, snow leopard, clouded leopard, and cougar. This breaks the more restrictive, monophyletic definition of Panthera, which includes the exclusive descendants of a common ancestor.

The big cats are some of the strongest land predators on the planet. Aside from rare historic reports of domesticated leopards, none are domestic, and all are deadly, though tourists on safari can get close to leopards in relative safety. There are reports of man-eating variants of all but the jaguar, though humans are not the preferred prey of big cats. They usually only target us when other prey is depleted. However, the most prolific man-eating tiger has killed more than 436 people, with 300,000 deaths alone in India between 1800 and 1900.

All of the big cats are beautiful and elegant, making popular exhibits in zoos. Like all other cats, the big cats are exclusively carnivores, as evidenced from their saber-like teeth and powerful skulls. Of all the big cats, the heaviest and most powerful is the tiger, found in Southeast Asia. The largest tigers can be 4 m (13 ft) in total length and weigh up to 300 kg (660 lb), comparable to the largest extinct felids. Tigers are known for their distinct coat which is covered with beautiful dark vertical stripes, overlaid on near-white and orange fur. This gives tigers a fiery appearance. A poll conducted by Animal Planet in 2004 found that the tiger is the world's favorite animal, narrowly beating out "man's best friend", the dog.

The lion is another of the big cats, popular and well known throughout the world. It has tan-colored fur, and is known for the striking different appearance of males and females — males have the famous large mane. Unlike most other cats, lions are highly social, living in groups called prides. Their range extends across most of sub-Saharan Africa and a tiny part of India, but tens of thousands of years ago, lions were also found in Europe, China, Beringia (far northeast Russia), and North America. The extinct American cave lion was one of the largest land predators aside from bears.

All Things Nature is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Michael Anissimov
By Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov is a dedicated All Things Nature contributor and brings his expertise in paleontology, physics, biology, astronomy, chemistry, and futurism to his articles. An avid blogger, Michael is deeply passionate about stem cell research, regenerative medicine, and life extension therapies. His professional experience includes work with the Methuselah Foundation, Singularity Institute for Artificial Intelligence, and Lifeboat Foundation, further showcasing his commitment to scientific advancement.
Discussion Comments
Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov
Michael Anissimov is a dedicated All Things Nature contributor and brings his expertise in paleontology, physics,...
Learn more
All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

All Things Nature, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.