Big Cats, powerful and strong yet still an enigma. Pictures of big cats both intense and endearing. Big cats have long been the cause of fascinated captivation, brought on by their amazing ability of physical communication. Expressive eyes that appear to irresistibly draw you in as they gaze towards you. Body language that defies any psychological analysis, yet somehow expresses every possible emotion, manipulating our response.
African lion with a typically laid back expression
Male lions typically appear relaxed and affectionate unless incensed or hunting. Lions are the second largest felines, only out-sized by the tiger. Despite their size and strength, males leave nearly all the hunting to females. Lions are keystone predators, despite declining numbers they have a substantial effect on the overall environment and maintaining balance within the overall ecological community.
Amur leopards intense concentration as it stalks its prey
Big cats have an amazing way of stealthily homing in on their prey. First they decide on their target, then they focus and continue to stalk with intense concentration. Amur leopards differ from other leopards by their exceptionally thick coat and widely spaced rosettes. They have dense hair which during the winter can grow up to 70mm. They also have long limbs which have adapted to walking through their habitat of deep snow.
Astonishing focus and concentration of a desert lynx
Desert lynx prey on a variety of mammals from rodents to small antelope. Unlike other small cats of the African continent, they are capable of killing prey much larger than themselves including springboks or juvenile kudus. They have formidable agility and strength. This image captures a desert lynx in a cat refuge, reaching for meat being tossed into its enclosure. The eyes are perfectly focused on its prey, as it adroitly makes its catch.
Cheetah affectionately greeting its sibling
Cheetahs affectionately interacting with each other, as one cheetah nudges its sibling affectionately. Cheetahs are highly developed socially, greeting each other physically by sniffing, grooming face-licking and rubbing cheeks. They also communicate verbally with a wide range of vocal sounds including chirping, yowling, whirring and bleating. Each sound being produced for specific reasons.
Jungle cat displaying its teeth in a very large yawn
Despite generally being active during the day, jungle cats are known to 'cat nap' in the afternoon sun. Jungle cats are largely solitary, not normally interacting with other jungle cats. They are fortunate in that they are quite general in their habitat requirements, requiring only adequate water and dense vegetation for hunting. They are the largest surviving member of the Felis cat family. They are a near-threatened species.
Mountain lion hunting; aka puma, cougar, panther
Mountain lions hunt a diverse selection of prey. Mountain lions are not as powerful as some big cats and therefore rely on ambushing their prey although they can sprint at speeds up to 80km/h for limited distances if needed. Despite having no natural enemies, they are not always an apex predator, often giving way to larger more powerful predators such as grizzly bears and grey wolves or jaguars.
Rusty-spotted cat exemplifying the perfect Puss ‘n Boots gaze
Captivating adults and children alike, just about everyone who loves felines recognized those adoring eyes. Regardless of whether a domestic cat is gazing up at you requesting a cuddle or a big cat is gazing at its keeper, hoping for a meaty treat. All of us can be drawn in by those deep loving eyes ... and most importantly of all … cats big and small know it. Cats blatantly utilize their visual body skills to achieve their goals.
Sumatran tiger covertly creeping through a tunnel of bamboo
Sumatran tigers prefer natural forest environments, preferably with higher elevation and dense lower foliage. They generally prowl through the undergrowth, emerging only when needed. Tigers generally avoid human managed plantations or forest as they need the extensive sub canopy for cover, thus their hunting environment has been much depleted by the human need for palm oil and acacia wood.