The Panther: Characteristics, Behavior, and Habitat
The panther is one of the most intriguing and elegant animals that exist. Its shiny coat and deep gaze have always awakened the curiosity in many people to learn more about this beautiful creature. Do you want to find out more?
Learn more about the panther
The term “panther” doesn’t refer to a particular animal, but to of a group of felines. In America, however, people decided to call leopards and jaguars by different names because of the specific characteristics in their fur. To this day, there are two varieties: black panthers and white ones. Both have similar traits, but have different colored fur.
The panther measures between 1.20 and 1.80 long, including its tail, and stands about 1.20 high. Its head has a special shape, because it isn’t very big. However, it has pointed ears that point outwards, huge eyes and a jaw with teeth capable of tearing an elephant apart.
Apparently, it’s the only feline that doesn’t have marks on its skin. In fact, it has melanism, an excess of melanin, that makes its skin completely dark. That’s why its fur is totally black. So, actually, it could be a jaguar or a leopard.
As a general rule, the panther lives in American rainforests. Although it can also live in the mountains, it doesn’t, because that is the puma’s territory. It’s a great possibility that it can’t win fight against a puma. As a way of preserving the peace between the two species, each one remains in its place.
It looks different from the rest of the felines, and behaves differently too. For example, it has the ability to roar. That’s something that, for example, the wildcat, the lynx and the puma cannot do. It is so stealthy that it’s known as “The Ghost of the Jungle”.
It’s solitary and doesn’t spend much time with other panthers, unless it’s a female with her offspring. They don’t hunt in herds, but each one hunts alone, and they communicate among themselves to keep their home for a long time.
They’re great climbers. They climb trees with incredible ease. Cubs learn to climb in order to use it as an escape method during an attack.
Did you know that white panthers exist?
You most likely think about the color black when you hear the name panther, but there are also white panthers. These are nothing more than leopards or white cougars.
This phenomenon occurs because of something known as albinism. It’s a genetic disorder that prevents the generation of melanin, the substance that gives color to the skin, eyes and hair. This lack of melanin could be partial or total, but in the white panther’s case, there’s a complete lack of melanin in the skin and hair, but not in the eyes.
In addition to albinism, leucism is another disorder that can cause a panther to be white. This is also caused by a recessive gene. The difference is that panthers with albinism have an extreme sensitivity to sunlight, while those who suffer leucism don’t.
Did you enjoy learning more about this elegant, wild and yet fascinating animal? It’s one of nature’s beauties that is worth knowing about. The strange fact that the panther is not a specific animal. It can be one of the three mentioned above, which most people don’t know about. So, it was a pleasure telling you about it!