Sunday, 30 August 2015


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The term panther is the generic term for large cats, and therefore all jaguars are panthers.  However, not all panthers are jaguars as there are other large cats such as lions, leopards and tigers that are not classed as such. 

Panthers and the jaguars have specific physical attributes and there is a difference in their classification, more specifically their genus.

Panther (Panthera pardus)

Panthers belong to the genus Panthera and are native to Asia, Africa and the Americas. The Panther is not a distinct species itself, but is the general name used to refer to any black coloured feline of the Big Cat family (most notably leopards and jaguars).

The Panther tends to be dark brown to black in colour and is otherwise identical to the feline species to which it belongs. Black panthers are not panthers at all but either leopards or jaguar, and the only thing that differs between them is the dark coloration.

Unlike leopards and jaguars the Panther has no spots on it's long body or tail, but instead has a shiny coat of dark fur. Panthers have small heads with strong jaws and emerald green eyes, with hind legs that are both larger and slightly longer than those at the front. The panther is not only one of the largest felines in the world but it is also able to roar, which is something that felines outside of this group are not able to do. 

Jaguars (Panthera onca)

Jaguars also belong to the genus Panthera and are native to the Americas, living mostly in the rainforest. This spotted cat is most similar to a leopard physically, although it behaviour is more similar to those of a tiger.

Jaguars are the third largest feline, after lions and tigers. They are associated with water and are accomplished swimmers.  These solitary predators stalk and ambush their prey. they have a very powerful bite and can bite through the skull of their victims easily.
Jaguars are a keystone species, crucial to stabilising their associated ecosystem. However they are near threatened species and their numbers are in decline.

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