Cat Pictures: The Panthers

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Female Lion

Lion - Panthera leo
Lion - Panthera leo. Photo © Jonathan & Angela Scott / Shutterstock.

Pictures of cats including lions, mountain lions, caracals, tigers, jaguars, cheetahs and more.

Lions, like mountain lions and caracals, do not have a dark pattern of spots or stripes superimposed over their base coat color. Lions range in color from nearly white to tawny yellow, ash brown, ochre, and deep orange-brown. They have a tuft of dark fur at the tip of their tail. Although adult lions are uniform in color, lion cubs have a light spot pattern which fades as they mature. Adult lions are also sexually dimorphic, that is males and females differ in their appearance.

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Tiger - Panthera tigris
Tiger - Panthera tigris. Photo © Anup Shah / Getty Images.

There are five subspecies of tigers and each varies slightly in coloration. In general, tigers have an orange coat with black stripes and a white belly and white facial markings. Siberian tigers are lighter in color and have more white than the other tiger subspecies.

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Siberian Tiger

Siberian tiger - Panthera tigris altaica
Siberian tiger - Panthera tigris altaica. Photo © Dirk Freder / Getty Images.

The Siberian tiger, also known as the Amur tiger, is the largest of all the tiger subspecies. It has a reddish-orange coat that fades to white on its face and belly. It has dark brown, vertical stripes that cover its flanks and shoulders. Its fur is thicker and longer than other tiger subspecies, an adaptation to its cold, mountain habitat.

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Jaguar - Panthera onca
Jaguar - Panthera onca. Photo © Frans Lanting / Getty Images.

Jaguars, also known as panthers, are spotted cats that inhabit Central and South America. Their spots are arranged on some parts of their body in clusters called rosettes—rings of spots with a spot in the center. Although most jaguars are tan with black spots and rosettes, a rare genetic variation produces a black jaguar.

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Lion Cubs

Lion - Panthera leo
Lion - Panthera leo. Photo © Denis Huot / Getty Images.

Lion cubs have a subtle spotted pattern that fades as they mature. Adult lions have no pattern to their coat.

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Tiger Cub

Tiger cub - Panthera tigris
Tiger cub - Panthera tigris. Photo © Martin Harvey / Getty Images.

In some cat species, a melanistic or black color morph appears on occasion in a wild population. Although these melanistic individuals may look quite different from their kin, they are color variations, not separate species. Examples of such melanistic individuals include black leopards and black jaguars. This picture shows a black jaguar.

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Leopard - Panthera pardus
Leopard - Panthera pardus. Photo © Jonathan and Angela Scott / Getty Images.

In addition to melanistic individuals, some cat species also exhibit white color varieties. White tigers and white lions are two such examples. Neither white tigers nor white lions are albinos, but instead are white due to the presence of a recessive gene which causes their coat background color to be almost white instead of yellow.

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Leopards - Panthera pardus
Leopards - Panthera pardus. Photo © Richard du Toit / Getty Images.

Like black jaguars and black leopards, white lions are a color morph of lions, not a different species. White lions possess a recessive gene that causes their coat to be a very light color. It should be noted that white lions are not albinos. Instead their coloration is due to a condition known as leucism in which all types of pigment are reduce, not just melanin as in albinos. White lions in the wild have been observed in African lions, Panthera leo krugeri.

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Clouded Leopard

Clouded leopard - Neofelis nebulosa
Clouded leopard - Neofelis nebulosa. Photo © Sarah B Photography / Getty Images.

Clouded leopards (Neofelis nebulosa) are native to the rain forests and Himalayan foothills throughout Southeast Asia. Their range includes Indonesia, China, and Nepal. The species is classified as vulnerable by the IUCN due to habitat destruction and recent population declines. Recent genetic research on the species has revealed that the clouded leopards of Sumatra and Borneo differ markedly from the clouded leopards from other regions. For this reason, the populations that reside on Sumatra and Borneo have been reclassified as a new and separate species, Neofelis diardi.

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Snow leopard

Snow leopard - Panthera uncia
Snow leopard - Panthera uncia. Photo © Frank Pali / Getty Images.

Snow leopards (Panthera uncia) are a species of large cat that is native to Central Asia. Snow leopards inhabit the high mountain regions of China, Afganistan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, and the Russian Federation. The population of snow leopards in the wild today is estimated to be fewer than 2,500 individuals, and the species is classified as Endangered by the IUCN.

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Tiger - Panthera tigris
Tiger - Panthera tigris. Photo © Art Wolfe / Getty Images.

The tiger (Panthera tigris) is a species of large cat that inhabits Asia including the countries of China, Korea, India, and Russia. There are eight subspecies of tigers recognized today. Tigers live in a variety of habitats, depending on their location. They are found in tropical forests, monsoonal forests, thorn forests, mangroves, and mountain regions.

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Jaguar - Panthera onca
Jaguar - Panthera onca. Photo © Jaguar - Panthera onca / Getty Images.

The jaguar (Panthera onca) is a large cat that roams the southwestern United states (including Arizona and New Mexico) and parts of Central and South America. They inhabit dense tropical forests in much of their range, but also are found in scrubland and swamp habitats.