View Full Version : Week 30 - Black Leopard/Panther

January 2nd, 2008, 09:43 PM
Black leopard Panthera pardus

You may want to call these cats black panthers, but there's really no such animal. "Panther" is a generic work used to describe many large cats, especially black ones, but also Florida panthers which are just a subspecies of cougar. Both black leopards and black jaguars are often born in the same litter as the normal colored cats, because the black color, called melanism, is due to a recessive gene. So, melanistic cubs can be born to two spotted parents. The cats are actually dark brown, with the same pattern of black spots as any other leopard. There are no solid black big cats.

Weight: males range from 80 to 198 pounds, females 60 to 130 pounds.

Height: measured at the shoulder, 18 to 30 inches.

Lifespan: in captivity, they have been known to live 20 years.

Habitat and Range: There are over 20 subspecies of leopards, found in both Asia and Africa, living in a large variety of habitats, from deserts to jungles, and even near large human cities. Cats from cold mountain ranges are larger than average.

Leopards are the most adaptable of all felids and are found in all habitats, from rain forests to deserts. Forest and Mediterranean scrub are included habitats for the species found in northwest Africa, Iran and parts of the Caucasus. Found in the more remote montane and rugged foothill areas, with altitudes ranging from 5900 ft (1,800 m) in Turkmenistan to 10,580 ft (3,200 m) in Iran.

In Asia, they are found on the Indian subcontinent in every bioregion save deserts and the Sunderbans mangroves. The also live on the outskirts of large cities like Bombay, and are quite common in the hills of India. Leopards are usually found below the tree lines but also occur throughout most of the Chinese Himalayas, where they are sympatric with snow leopards up to 17,000 ft (5,200 m). The Russian Far East boasts a population of leopards, preferring regions of low snowfall largely forested by oaks and pines.

Endangered Status: endangered

Okay, so the last one isn't actually a black leopard, its my cat Vader, but hey, she has goals :)