Big cats are one of the most amazing animals on Earth. If you ever had the chance to get close to any of these species and look into their eyes you have sensed the enormous power and grace they bear with. Admiring these animals in their natural habitat is almost impossible and remains only a wish for most of us. Sadly, many species of big cats are threatened or endangered. We have selected the following photos of ten different species to bring you (virtually) closer to these amazing creatures.

1. Tiger (Panthera tigris)

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via our-amazing-world.tumblr.com

The largest member of the cat family and the most admired animal. Some of the subspecies are extinct and the rest are endangered. Today, an estimated total of  3000-4500 exist in the wild.

2. Lion (Panthera Leo)

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via Daniel Hernanz

The lion is considered and said to be the king of the jungle. Despite of the fact that he is only the second largest member of the cat family, the lion deserves the title due to his majestic appearance and position as a top predator.

3. Jaguar (Panthera Onca)

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via hugging-wildness.tk

The jaguar is the largest cat in the Americas living in Southwestern United States and Mexico and South America. This animal has an exceptionally powerful bite and kills its prey with one crushing bite to the skull.

4. Leopard (Panthera pardus)

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via www.telegraph.co.uk

Smaller and more slightly built than the jaguar, the leopard lives in the rainforests of South East Asia and desert terrains of Africa.

5. Snow Leopard (Panthera Uncia)

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via upload.wikimedia.org

There are only up to 6000 snow leopards left in the wild mostly in the Himalayas in Asia.

6. Cougar (Puma Concolor)

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via Bob and Lynn

Cougars are common in North and South America. These animals are xceptionally good jumpers, they can leap up to 39 feet.

7. Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)

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found on Pinterest

8. Clouded Leopard (Neofelis nebulosa)

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via  William Leasure

The medium sized Clouded Leopard lives in the lush greens of the tropical evergreen rainforests, dry tropical forests and mangrove swamps of Southeast Asia and the eastern Himalayas.

9. Black Jaguar (Panthera Onca)

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found on Pinterest

Black Jaguars or often called Black Panthers have black fur caused by melanism. Similarly, leopards can also have black fur.

10. Lynx

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via Wim Tewinkel

There are more different types of Lynx, Canada, Alaska, European and Asian but all of them have stubby tails and long tufts on the ears.