The scientific order Carnivora includes cats, dogs, bears, raccoons, hyenas, otters,
weasels, badgers, mongooses, and civets. All typical carnivores have well developed claws and a pair of specialized
cheek teeth (carnassials) for slicing flesh.
The cat family includes the small cats (genus Felis), the clouded leopard (genus
Neofelis), the cheetah (genus Acinonyx), and the big cats (genus Panthera).
D. Genus, species--Panthera tigris.
1. There are five species in the genus Panthera:
tigers (P. tigris), snow leopards (P. uncia), leopards (P. pardus), jaguars (P. onca), and
lions (P. leo).
(1) The elastic hyoid, combined with the fibroelastic tissue on top of the big cats'
undivided vocal folds, acts like a slide trombone, enabling the big cats to roar. Only
snow leopards, which lack the specialized vocal folds, are not able to roar.
(2) Because of the elastic hyoid, big cats can purr only when breathing out.
b. The hyoid of smaller cats is solid bone. These cats can purr when breathing both in and out, but they can't roar.
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