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Big Cats

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Sophie Nobbs

on 17 September 2012

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Transcript of Big Cats

I know lots about
big cats! All cats are mammals with fine fur that is often beautifully marked. Cats are very intelligent animals and skilled hunters with sharp teeth and claws. Although cats can vary in size, they are all part of the same family, Felidae. There are 38 different species of cat but they all have similarities. Here are some body parts of a cat and how they are used:

Whiskers: cats use their whiskers to help them feel their surroundings.
Tail: cats have a long tail, used to help them keep their balance and to signal their feelings to other cats.
Feet: cats don't walk on their whole foot, they only walk on their toes.
Ears: cats have long ears to draw in the sound.

All cats have short rounded heads and very soft fur which is kept clean by regular grooming with their tongue and paws. What is a Cat? A tiger has distinctive black stripes: Spots and Stripes A cheetah has lots of spots: A jaguar has rosettes with a central spot of colour: A leopard has small rosettes: The skeleton of a cat has 230 bones (a human has 206). It's skull is joined to the spine, supporting the body. The bones of the spine protect the spinal cord, which is the main nerve cable in the body. Each rib cage, which is also joined to the spine, has 13 ribs. These protect the cat's heart and lungs.

Cats use their teeth for killing animals and chewing meat. If a cat damaged its teeth, it would quickly die from starvation. Teeth and Bones Big
Cats Teeth To hunt at night without being seen by prey, cats use their senses of touch, hearing and sight. Their eyesight is extraordinary, adapted for night vision but is also good in the day.They have the ability to see things with both eyes at they same time, enabling them to judge distances and depth accurately. Senses Leopards curl the tip of
their tongue like a spoon
to lap up water. Cats use their whiskers to judge how close objects are. Lions have a long rough tongue which makes a good comb. All cats are carnivores (animals that feeds mainly on the flesh of other animals). Big cats hunt down and kill their own food, however most big cats like to steal food from other animals if they can. Different big cats kill their prey in separate ways, cheetahs patrol their areas, looking for prey. Jaguars hide and ambush their victims (pounce on them in surprise).

Lions kill large, powerful animals like buffalo, usually attacking from behind or from the side.

Big cats will consume small animals like tortoises if they haven't been able to hunt larger animals.

To kill its prey, the big cat will knock the animal off balance then bite into its neck to suffocate it. Prey Giving Birth Cubs belonging to a big cat are usually born with spotted fur and closed eyes. They are born in a place called a den where they are safe. The father doesn't help the mother look after the cubs and she stays close to them to feed them milk and to keep them warm by licking them.

When tiger cubs reach 11 months, they are capable and able to kill. They stay with their mother until they are 2 or 3.

A cheetah cub has a mane of fur which an adult cheetah doesn't have. It will help it them to hide in the grass. Cats in the desert Deserts are very hot in the day but get cold at night. Not many animals can live in environments like this, but cats can adapt easily. If the cats have other animals in their environment to feed on, they will be fine.

Sand Cats have dense hair on the soles of their feet to protect them as they walk on the hot ground. All the water they get comes from food so Sand Cats don't need to drink. Sand Cats have
big ears to hear
the high pitched
squeaks of rodents. Fun Facts Some Arctic people believe that cats represent the spirits of the dead.
Although lions are called the King of the Jungle, they don't actually live there.
Cats cannot digest sugar so they tend not to eat sweet things.
A cat's pupil opens wide when it is frightened and close up when it is angry.
Hairballs coughed up by lions are worn as talismans in parts of Africa. Did you know? More facts In the 1500s, rich people kept cheetahs as hunting animals like dogs.
When they are close together, lions chirrup, meow and yowl to each other.
Big cats' territories range from a few kilometres to over 1,000km.
Lions follow along dry riverbeds looking for waterholes in the desert.
In the early 1900s, one Indian leopard killed 125 people in 8 years. Did you know? That is all you need
to know about big
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