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Introduction

Jaguarundi (Herpailurus yagouaroundi)

The Felinae are a subfamily of the family Felidae that includes the genera and species presented below. Most are small to medium-sized cats, although the group does include some larger animals, such as the cougar and cheetah. The earliest records of the Felinae are ascribed to Felis attica of western Eurasia from the late Miocene, 9 million years ago (Mya). It is estimated that the pantherine big cats split away from this group about 6.37 million years ago.

Felidae cats are split up into two main lineages: the conical-toothed cats, which includes all the extant cats in subfamilies Felinae and Pantherinae, and the extinct saber-toothed cats (members of Machairodontinae). Some authorities include all conical toothed cats in Felinae to reflect this primary division, in which case the tribes Pantherini and Felini are used for the pantherine and feline cats, respectively. In this sense, the tribe Felini is synonymous with the use of Felinae in this article.

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Leopard on the tree
The leopard (Panthera pardus) is an Old World mammal of the Felidae family and the smallest of the four 'big cats' of the genus Panthera, along with the tiger, lion, and jaguar. Leopards that are melanistic, either all-black or very dark in coloration, are known colloquially as black panthers.

Once distributed across southern Eurasia and Africa, from Korea to South Africa and Spain, it has disappeared from much of its former range and now chiefly occurs in subsaharan Africa. There are fragmented populations in Israel, Indochina, Malaysia, and western China. Despite the loss of range and continued population declines, the cat remains a least concern species; its numbers are greater than that of the other Panthera species, all of which face more acute conservation concerns.

The species' success owes in part to its opportunistic hunting behaviour and its adaptability to a variety of habitats. The leopard consumes virtually any animal it can catch and ranges from rainforest to desert. Its ecological role resembles that of the similarly-sized cougar in the Americas. Physically, the spotted cat most closely resembles the jaguar, although it is of lighter build.


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Sumatran Tiger

The Sumatran Tiger (Panthera tigris sumatrae) is found only on the Indonesian island of Sumatra.

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Maine Coon
The Maine Coon is a breed of domestic cat well known for its distinctive physical appearance. It is one of the oldest natural breeds in North America, specifically native to the state of Maine, where it is the official State Cat.

Although the Maine Coon's exact origins and date of introduction to the United States are unknown, many theories have been proposed. The breed was popular in cat shows in the late 1800s, but its existence became threatened when long-haired breeds from overseas were introduced in the early 20th century. The Maine Coon has since made a comeback and is now the second most popular cat breed.

The Maine Coon is generally noted for its large bone structure, its rectangular body shape, and a long, flowing coat. The breed can be seen in a variety of colors and are known for their intelligence and gentle personalities.

Did you know...

Opposable 'thumb' on male polydactyl cat.

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