Big Cats popularly refers to the class of wild animals in the family Felidae, and more specifically the larger species in the genus Panthera. Initially, they consisted of the Lion, Tiger, Leopard, Snow Leopard, and Jaguar but now include also the Cheetah, Clouded Leopard, Cougar, and Sunda Clouded Leopard.
Most big cats can be found in Africa, America, and Asia. These animals are normally large and muscular except for the Cheetah and also portray different behaviors both in the wild, in captivity, and conservatory parks. Big Cats also commonly sport a spotted skin and a skull or face that is flatted or evenly convex. The Lion, Leopard, Tiger, and Jaguar are the only big cats with the ability to roar.
A Panthera animal is characterized by its specific skull shape that has a flat dorsal profile. All Panthera species also have an incomplete ossified hyoid bone. They have an adapted larynx with larger vocal folds that are covered in a fibro-elastic pad that allows all Panthera species except the snow leopard to roar.
The largest Big Cat species is the Siberian Tiger which typically weighs a total of 931 pounds and is native to Northeastern China, Korea, Russia, as well as parts of India and the Himalayas. The other large Big Cats species include the Lion, Jaguar, Cougar, and Snow Leopard.
Generally, all Big Cats, which include lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars, cannot purr, but they can roar. Small cats, including bobcats, ocelots, lynxes, cougars, and house cats can purr, but they cannot roar. Roaring and purring allow these species of cats to vocalize and communicate with each other.