The most beautiful big cats: what is the fur pattern good for?


The most beautiful big cats in the world have a fancy fur pattern. Whether stripes, swabs or dots - the fur fashion makes a lot of things. But in our editorial top 5 of the most beautiful big cats in the world there are also two monochrome representatives.

The ocelot knows how to camouflage itself with its spots in the South American rainforest - Image: Shutterstock / Helen E. Grose The leopard is at home in a wide variety of regions and its fur pattern is very adaptable - Image: Shutterstock / red-feniks The black panther has a fur pattern, only you can't see it - Image: Shutterstock / Volodymyr Burdiak A missing fur pattern is an advantage for the lion when hunting - Image: Shutterstock / erllre74 Tiger: The stripe look makes him the most beautiful big cat in the world - Image: Shutterstock / Arangan Ananth

The tiger is undoubtedly one of the most beautiful big cats in the world. A large part of this honor clearly has its striped fur pattern, about which scientists still worry about. Because tigers are the only big cats that go hunting in a striped look. All other wild velvet paws roam the world with spots, dots or even in one color. Such as the unofficial king of the animal world - the lion. But why are there such different fur patterns? Researchers see this as the perfect adaptation to the environment, in which the most beautiful big cats are on the prowl. For example, the lion likes to hunt in the African savannah. His light brown fur is the perfect camouflage here. The big cat would only reveal spots or stripes. For a place among the most beautiful big cats, it is still enough.

Exemplary: The most beautiful big cats wear fur patterns

The black panther also doesn't have a fur pattern - at least that's what most people think. Because actually the black panther is a leopard with a kind of pigment disorder, also called melanism. Under certain lighting conditions it can be seen that the black panther actually has black rosettes on his fur - only they are not noticeable. A litter of leopards can produce black panthers as well as normal colored leopards. The fourth largest and one of the most beautiful big cats in the world lives mainly in Africa and Asia. The fur pattern usually shows black rosettes on a light brown background - the thicker the vegetation, the more useful this fur pattern is for camouflage when hunting. Scientists explain why there are black leopards without the useful fur pattern, because leopards occur in very different habitats, so it is an advantage if the fur pattern has evolved over a few generations to adapt to the environment. For example, ocelots, which are undoubtedly one of the most beautiful big cats in the world, have different fur patterns - depending on which parts of South America they live in: In the rainforest, the fur is more ocher to orange, while in dry regions a gray fur color dominates. What they do have in common is the striking fur pattern: the dark rosette-shaped spots are an ideal camouflage both on stony ground and in the densely overgrown jungle.

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