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Distinctive Feline Physical Traits and Characteristics

Our "PowerCats" are all mammals, and members of the Carnivora order meaning they are all carnivorous predatory mammals. The DVD hosts introduce us to five distinct Species of felines: Lions, Tigers, Caracals, Cougars and Lynx which are in the same family, the Cheetah and the extremely rare King Cheetah.

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Lions: Lions are the most social of all felines living in groups or "prides". Male African lions achieve considerable size and may reach up to 9' in length. Adult males are considerably larger than females with full grown males weighing an average of 415 lbs. to the females 277 lbs. The bodies of both sexes are sandy brown to reddish brown above, paler below, with few markings of any kind. Their tails have a conspicuous darker tuft at the tip. There are faint black bars "false eyes" on the back of the ears. Cubs are marked with spots which may persist on body and legs until fully adult and are occasionally visible throughout life. Lions have eyes with round pupils. The hyoid bone is incompletely ossified, which enables lions to roar. Females are active in maintaining the pride assuming responsibilities for hunting and rearing the young. The male's primary role is to defend the pride's territory and protect against other intruders and other nomadic males. Male lions have a most unusual feature specifically designed for this purpose which is their mane. The mane gives the male lion the illusion of size without the added burden of body weight and serves to protect against other male's teeth and claws.

Tigers: Tigers are territorial and usually solitary animals in the wild except during mating season. Among the 36 feline species, tigers are most closely related to lions, leopards and jaguars. Tigers are the largest member of the cat family and the only cat with striped fur. Tiger stripes are unique just like fingerprints with no two tigers having the same pattern of stripe. The largest cat living in the world is the Siberian cat. Adult males have been recorded over 1,000 lbs and reaching lengths in excess of 10 feet. Tigers figure prominently in Asian myths, religions, and arts. Tigers often carry the Chinese mark of wang or king on the forehead and are revered for their power. Unfortunately, a tiger's body parts still figure very prominently in ancient Asian folklore as possessing value for medicinal and other purposes which is one of the main reasons for poaching for this cat in particular. In regards to the coloration variances in White Tigers & Golden Tigers, these are genetic mutations and not separate subspecies (see Tiger Color Variation Page). It widely believed, although never proven scientifically, that these color variations were a natural camouflage for the animals to adapt and blend into their geographical terrain such as snow or clay tracks where they once ranged.

Caracals: Caracals are members of the Lynx family and sometimes called the African or Desert Lynx. Although closely related to the Lynx, it is small and has a much longer tail. Caracal is a Turkish word meaning "black eared". Other members of the lynx family include the Canadian Lynx and the larger Siberian Lynx. Caracals have the claim to fame of being the “fastest of all the small cats". Like other Lynx species, the Caracal possesses the notorious long "ear tuffs" on top of each ear. These extended fur tuffs can be as long as 3" and serve a very important purpose in helping the Caracal survive. These fur tuffs not only help direct sound waves into the ears but they help reduce noise created when the animal's head disturbs low lying branches allowing the Caracal to approach even closer to its prey when stalking. Caracals are native to Africa, Asia, and even certain areas of the Middle East like Israel. Although they are extremely adaptive felines, they typically inhabit savannah grasslands and low scrub bush covered terrains. In the wild, they are notorious bird hunters. They are capable of tremendous acrobatic aerial jumps.

Cougars: Cougars are classified as a “Small Cat”, unlike a White Tiger, which is classified as a “Big Cat”. The major difference separating the two classifications is the ability to roar vs. the ability to purr. All of the "Small Cats" have the ability to purr, while the "Large Cats" cannot purr. The larger cats use other sounds to communicate which include a lion's roar or a tiger's chuffing vocalizations. Cougars are named according to the region they inhabit and in North America they are referred to as the Bobcat, or Mountain Lion, Puma or, whereas in Florida, they are named the Florida Panther. Cougars have the distinction of having the loudest recorded purring ever documented, a very distinguished physical trait. These cats are natural athletes! One of their claims to fame is that they hold the vertical and horizontal jumping records. Cougars have been known to jump 25 feet across a stream and 18 feet straight up into a tree!!

Lynx: The Lynx is a stout-bodied medium size cat with an exquisitely beautiful coat of fur. Unusual physical characteristics is the absence of the long tail, sometimes as much as 1/3 of the body length, we have come to associate with our "Power Cats". Instead the Lynx tail is a stubby, short tail measuring only 4-10" in length. They do however have extremely large padded paws which serve as natural "snowshoes" helping them navigate through the snows in the rugged terrain they inhabit. These oversized paws also give the Lynx the added benefit of silencing their approach when hunting increasing their chance of success. Although the Lynxes' ear tufts are only one inch in length and shorter than those of the Caracal which are over three inches in length, they serve the same purpose. The Lynx has disproportionately long hind legs and is not known for speed but can make astounding 10 to 12 foot high aerial jumps to catch its prey.

Cheetah: Elegant and graceful best describe the Cheetah. The Cheetah is built for speed reaching short bursts of speeds reaching records of up to 70 miles per hour in less than five seconds. It has streamlined features with long, slim, muscular legs, a small rounded head set on a long neck, a flexible spine, and a deep chest. The Cheetah's eyes are unusual as it has round pupils, and very distinguished black tear lines used for reflecting the sun. Another unique feature is the Cheetah is the only feline species to have non-retractable claws. Cheetahs have extreme genetic disadvantages primarily from inbreeding weakening any chance for genetic diversification and making them basically identical in metabolic structure. This frail immune system could be the cause of considerable concern because if there is one strain of virus or bacteria that attacks a Cheetah that proves to be fatal - it would most probably be fatal to all existing Cheetahs.

King Cheetah: The extremely rare King Cheetah is featured as the finale to our film. They are appropriately named because their unusual markings represent the pattern typical of a King's robes. King Cheetahs were first discovered in Zimbabwe in 1926 and since that time only 10 have reported seen in the wild. These cats share the same genetic features as that of a standard Cheetah with the exception of their unusual coat and they are typically larger in size.

 

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Tigerhomes.org Animal Pictures / Illustrations Reference - Go To Power Cats Index
White Lion Pictures | African Lion Pictures | Asiatic Lion Pictures | Tiger Pictures | Cougar Pictures | Caracal Pictures | Lynx Pictures | Cheetah Pictures | King Cheetah Pictures | Tiger Color Variations | Tiger Stripes | White Tiger Photos | Siberian Golden Tiger Photos | False Eyes in Nature | Tiger Fangs | Power Cat's Prey | Power Cat's Prey 2

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