Eight Big Cats Roam the Earth, Stalk Prey

Big cats, the eight species of large wild cats, are among the biggest of carnivorous animals. These creatures are expert hunters, with strong legs to help them catch their prey.

The wild cats including cheetahs, lions, tigers, leopards, pumas, and jaguars may live on their own or stay in groups in many habitats across every continent except Australia and Antarctica. All big cats have flexible backbones that allows them to twist and turn. They also have sharp teeth and claws.

Cheetahs, one example of a big cat, have flexible backbones like all big cats. Their habitats include grassland, semi-desert, and scrub areas. Cheetahs eat gazelles and antelopes. A cheetah can not pull back its claws into its paws, because their claws help them grip the ground while they are running. This makes their paw print different from other big cats.

Lions are a second kind of big cat. They eat large animals and small animals like mice and reptiles. Lions sharpen their claws by scratching trees. This action also means that the tree is their territory, so their scratch marks are a warning for other lions to stay away.

Big cats are powerful creatures, but they are unfortunately suffering from habitat loss. Also, they are in danger because people hunt and kill them. Hopefully action can be taken to protect these fierce creatures soon.

[Sources: Animal Tracks & Signs; The Complete Guide to Animals]