Wikis / Great cats / Panther - Wikibooks, collection of open-content textbooks

The panther or leopard is a cat that lives in the forests of Asia and Africa. It weighs between 50 and 100 kg. Good hunter, lurking or chasing his victims silently, especially at nightfall. Their coat varies from individual to individual, but is usually yellowish with dark spots. The black variety is prevalent in India. Young people of the same litter may present different colors and mottles.

What characteristics do they have?

Usually confused with the cheetah, with which it shares a very similar (yellow coat with dark speckles), but of which it differs greatly in both physical and behavioral characteristics, the cheetah being strikingly less aggressive than the leopard; In addition, the leopard does not have the characteristic black lacrimales that frame the cheetah's nose.

The leopard has a fairly solid silhouette, with round head and long, thin tail. Its legs are powerful, with 4 fingers in the posterior and 5 in the previous ones, being all its claws retractile. They reach from 91 cm to 1.91 m in length, more than 58 to 110 cm from the tail, and a height at the cross from 45 to 78 cm.3 Adult males weigh between 37 and 90 kg, and females from 28 to 60 kg.

How and what do they hunt?

They prey at night and usually spend the day sleeping among the vegetation, in other caves animals or, often, on the branch of a tree that climbs with agility despite the size they possess. Usually they tend to avoid the presence of humans because of the fear that infuses them.

For the leopard, the tree is both where it rests, from where it visualizes and hunts its prey and where stores their food. From the top of the tree, the leopard can ambush its prey and also leave food out of the reach of some scavengers.

How do they breed?

It feeds on medium and small mammals. Their diet includes monkeys, pigs, deer, jackals, antelopes, birds, cattle, etc. He keeps part of his game in the trees so he can eat for several days. It has clever techniques for catching prey, especially unprepared monkeys that they lose their curiosity.

Why are there black panthers?

Melanism is very common in jaguars (Panthera onca) and leopards (Panthera pardus) . The typical marks of these animals are maintained, but are hidden by the black color produced by the melanin. Albinism is the opposite effect to that produced by melanism.

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A snow panther

In South America, panther to the jaguar (Panthera onca) ; in North America, the word panther is commonly used to name puma and for the rest of the world, especially in Africa and Asia, the word is used to name the leopard (Panthera pardus) / i>.

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