The family of big cats is a topic of interest for the wildlife lovers. The big cats consist of lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards and panthers. The big cat family depends mostly on meat and therefore is referred to as carnivores. The two members of this family, leopard and panther, are often confused with one another, however, they have differences.
The leopard is the smallest member belonging to the family of big cats and is characterized by a long body and tail, short legs, powerful jaws and body muscles. The panther is a term that is used to refer to all the members of this family, especially the ones with the melanin pigment that gives them either black or white color.
The difference between leopard and panther is that a Leopard is the smallest member of the family of big cats, they are found especially in Africa, India, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Siberia and Pakistan, they are characterized by a large skull, short legs and long body, on the other hand, the word panther is used to refer to all the members of the big cat family, mostly the spotted one’s, the word is used especially to refer to the large black cats, namely, black Panthers and are found in America, Asia, Africa.
Comparison Table Between Leopard and Panther
|Parameter of Comparison||Leopard||Panther|
|Refers to||The word leopard is used to refer to the smallest member belonging to the family of big cats.||The word panther is used to refer to all members of the family of big cats, especially the dark colored or the black cats.|
|Origin of the word||The word leopard came into existence after combining the Greek words for panther and lion.||The word Panther is a combination of the two words of the Greek language. The word is made of the words “pan” which means all and “ther” which means beast of prey.|
|Characteristics||Leopards have a long body, short stocky legs, powerful jaws, strong scapular muscles, long tail and a large skull. Their maximum length is around six feet and usually weighs around 100 pounds||Panthers are characterized by long slender bodies, shiny furs, spots, emerald green eyes and hind legs. Panthers are larger than the leopards. They may weigh up to 350 pounds.|
|Types of habitats||Leopards are the inhabitants of the rainforests, deserts, mountains, Savannah tree lines.||Panthers are the inhabitants of the tropical forests, grasslands, marshlands and swamplands, mountains and deserts.|
|Found in||Leopards are found in India, Malaysia, Indochina, Korea, Siberia, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Pakistan and China.||Panthers are the natives of Asia, America and Africa. They are found in large numbers in India, Nepal and China.|
What is Leopard?
The word Leopard was made after combining the words for lions and panthers from the Greek language. The word is used to refer to the smallest member of the family of big cats. Leopards are known for their tree climbing ability.
A leopard is characterized by their long body, short stocky legs, powerful jaws, strong scapular muscles, long tail and a large skull. The furs of a leopard are yellowish-brown in color and have dark spots. The maximum length of a leopard can be up to six feet and can weigh up to 100 pounds.
Leopards are the inhabitants of the rainforests, mountains, deserts and Savannah tree lines. They are found in India, Korea, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Siberia, Indochina, South Africa, Central America, China and Pakistan.
What is Panther?
The word panther is made by combining the two words with distinct meanings, the first world is “pan” which means all or every everything and the other word is “ther” which means beast of the prey. The word panther is used to refer to all the members of the big cat family. The panthers are termed as clever hunters.
A panther is characterized by a long and slender body, emerald green eyes, hind legs and melanin pigment due to which they get either black or white color. The furs of a leopard are shiny and have spots. The size of a panther is larger as compared to that of a leopard. A panther can weigh up to 350 pounds.
Panthers are the inhabitants of tropical forests, grasslands, swamplands, marshlands, mountains and deserts. Panthers are the natives of Asia, America and Africa. A great population of them is found in India, Nepal and China.
Main Differences Between Leopard and Panther
- The word leopard is used to refer to the smallest member of the family of big cats while the word panther refers to all the members of the family of big cats especially the black and white panthers.
- The leopard is a distinct species while the term panther does not represent a distinct species, however, it is used to refer to melanin-containing big cats.
- The leopards are smaller in size as compared to the other members of the family, on the other hand, the panthers are larger as compared to the leopards.
- The maximum weight of a leopard can be up to 100 pounds, on the other hand, the panthers may weigh around three and half times that of a leopard, their maximum weight can be up to 350 pounds.
- The furs of a leopard are yellowish-brown in color and have black spots, on the other hand, the furs of a panther are shiny black or white.
- Leopards are the inhabitants of the rainforests while Panthers are the inhabitants of the tropical forests.
- Leopards are known as tree climbers whereas the Panthers are known for their aggressiveness and clever hunting.
The two big cats are different from one another but they have several things in common. Both have a larynx and therefore are roaring animals except the melanistic breeds and both are carnivores. Both of these species belong to the Panthera genus of the Felidae family.