Learn These Big Cat Science Facts!
by Sofia Zapata, age 12
Do you know how many different kinds of cats exist? Four kinds of big cats are famous like lions, tigers, leopards, and cheetahs.
Let's begin with a famous one: the lion. People know about them from movies like the Lion King. They are known for their golden manes. However, some lions have black manes.
Next is the tiger. The tiger may travel 12 miles (20 kilometers) in a day searching for food. They need to kill a hoofed mammal every three to five days to sustain themselves. Another cool fact is that in the winter, the tiger's coat becomes lighter. Tigers are the largest of all domesticated or big cats, also known as felids.
In contrast, Leopards are the most widespread big cat. They live across Africa and in southern Asia. The leopard is a successful hunter which eats gazelles, jackals, baboons, storks, rodents, reptiles, and fish. The leopard weighs up to 200 lb (90 kg).
Our last big cat is the cheetah. Cheetahs are sometimes killed by lions. Another thing about cheetahs is that cheetah cubs stay with their mother until they are 13-20 months old. Cheetahs have a blotchy coat pattern with stripes down their spine. They weigh up to 159 lb (72 kg). The most important thing about cheetahs is that they are the fastest land mammal and can reach speeds of 60 miles per hour.
It is no wonder why these four types of big cats are so well known. With their unique features and skills, learning about these cats is interesting and more people should encourage the study of these animals.
[Source: The Encyclopedia of Mammals]