The black panther

There are actually two species that are referred to as black panthers: black jaguars and black leopards. If they didn’t live so far apart they would be confused with each other. In fact the only easy difference is that jaguars, in their yellow colour, have spotty spots. Jaguars have black dots inside some of their spots (rosettes), whereas leopards don’t. However, this “easy” difference becomes quite hard to see when these cats are melanistic, that is, a black coat or entirely black. Whilst the spots are still visible, distance makes them harder to distinguish.

About six percent of jaguars will be all black. In the same way, there are also jaguars that are all white or albino jaguars. Both black and white jaguars are exactly like all other jaguars in every other way; they are just a different color.

There is a big need for conservation of these rare black cats. They need to be taken seriously as they are at a high risk of becoming extinct with an estimated population of only around 600 worldwide.

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