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All Five Types Of Big Cat (Lions and Relatives)

Updated on August 22, 2013

Two (basically indentical) Types of Lion

Asian Lion
Asian Lion
African Lion
African Lion

The Lion

There are two types of lion alive today; the African and the Asian lion. In times past, there were also European and American lions as well.

The African lion is the most well-known. It inhabits nearly the entire continent of Africa. The Asian Lion is more rare. It currently lives only in India, but it's range once extended into the Middle East. The lions you read about in the Bible were Asian lions

Lions are the only big cats to live and hunt in large groups. A group of lions is called a pride and can have as many as 30 adults! Usually, all the adults are female except for one large male. Rarely, there will be two males in a single pride. The females hunt and raise the cubs while the males defend their territory from other males.

The lion is the second largest species of panther.

Of course - the most famous lions of all time!

Snow Leopard

The Snow Leopard

The snow leopard is a beautiful cat that lives high in the Himalayan mountains. It's silver and white coat is excellent camouflage in its snow and rock habitat

Unlike the other panthers, the snow leopard cannot roar. A bone in its throat prevents it.

The snow leopard is the smallest of the panthers.

The Two Colors of Jaguar

Black coat
Black coat
Spotted coat
Spotted coat

The Jaguar

The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas. The majority of the population lives in the rainforest of South America, but it also lives throughout Central America as well. In fact, jaguars has been seen as far north as Arizona!

The jaguar comes in two color patterns; yellowish-orange with black spots and black. The second color pattern makes the Jaguar one of only two black panthers.

Jaguars are the third largest panther, smaller than lions and tigers.


Siberian Tiger
Siberian Tiger
Sumatran Tiger
Sumatran Tiger
Malayan Tiger
Malayan Tiger

The Tiger

The tiger is the stereotypical big cat of Asia. It inhabits the snow-covered forests of Siberia as well as the jungle islands of Malaysia. Besides the lion, tigers are probably the most easily recognizable panther.

Tigers are solitary animals, spending the majority of their life alone. They are incredibly powerful - they've even been seen attacking crocodiles in the water!

There are six types, or subspecies, of tiger. The largest is the Siberian; it is also the furthest north. Bengal tigers live across India. Indochinese tigers are found in southeast Asia. The Malayan and Sumatran tigers live on the islands of Malaysia. The South China Tiger once roamed through most of China, but now may be extinct in the wild.

Tigers (specifically the 600-700 pound Siberian tigers) are the largest cats in the world


The Leopard

With a range that covers most of Africa and southern Asia, the leopard has the largest distribution of any big cat. It's habitats include the forests, scrubland, and savannahs of Africa; the sandy plains of the Middle East; the jungles of India and China; and even the Himalayan mountains of central Asia.

Like it's close relative, the jaguar - the leopard can have one of two coat patterns. It is usually yellow with black spots or "rosettes." Sometimes, though, it comes in a black variation. Bagheera in the Jungle book was a popular depiction of a black leopard.

Leopards are one of the smallest panthers; only the Snow Leopard is smaller


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    • zaton profile image


      19 months ago from California

      The mighty lion deserves a place on here. He is the king of all animals, after all. Great hub on panthers, though!

    • profile image

      toufeeq khan lodhi 

      21 months ago

      i love these species

    • Taranwanderer profile image


      2 years ago

      You thought that lions were dogs lol? Well then what about wolves? Hahaha just kidding I thought the lion was the sun-god's alternate form when I was young.

    • profile image

      Raimer Gel 

      4 years ago

      As a child, I thought that lions belong to the dog family.

    • seigfried23 profile image


      5 years ago

      Very cool hub on the Big Cats - Daniel and the Lion's den is one of my favorites too; right next to the old Greek fable of Androcles and the Lion. They're similar, actually. Voted up!

    • Cathleena Beams profile image

      Cathleena Beams 

      6 years ago from Lascassas, Tennessee

      Wonderful "Big Cat" photos!


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