The Lion (Panthera leo) is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera and a member of the family Felidae. Lion males exceed 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, making them the 2nd largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions live in sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia while other types of lions have disappeared from North Africa and Southwest Asia in historic times. Until the late Pleistocene, about 10,000 years ago, the lion was the most widespread large land mammal after humans.
Snarling LEOPARD (Panthera pardus) ©Flash-Joerg Compared to other members of the Felidae family, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but is smaller and more slightly built. Its fur is marked with rosettes similar to those of the jaguar, but the leopard’s rosettes are smaller and more densely packed, and do not usually have central spots as the jaguars do. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic (com
South African large-spotted genet. Photograph by Warwick Tarbotton. This is a nocturnal creature seldom seen during the day. When you stop to look at the small creatures you nearly always get to see the big wildlife movie. I stopped to watch a genet at dusk and ended up in the middle of a lion hunt. Fascinating.
Mountain Lions. The cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the mountain lion, puma, panther, painter, mountain cat, or catamount, is a large cat of the family Felidae native to the Americas. Its range, from the Canadian Yukon to the southern Andes of South America, is the greatest of any large wild terrestrial mammal in the Western Hemisphere.
A rare black lion. My understanding is that almost all large cats have a recessive black, or melanistic, trait. That's why you have black panthers, which are usually melanistic leopards or sometimes melanistic tigers. It is also why there are black jaguars, as opposed to those with spotted coats. The melanistic trait in lions is simply more rare than in other types of large cats.