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Difference Between Leopard and Panther

Leopard vs Panther

The animal genus Panthera of the Felidae family consists of animals that are considered as the big cats; the tiger, lion, jaguar, and the leopard. They are the animals that are equipped with a special morphology of the larynx that allows them to roar.

The term “panther” comes from the Greek word “pan” meaning “all” and “ther” meaning “beast of prey” which was used to describe the animals that are able to kill and hunt other animals. The word “panther” is used to reference all spotted, big cats.

Although their roots are not clear, the genus Panthera evolved in Asia where most of these cats are found. They came from the extinct Veritailurus schaubi, which is a member of the genus Puma. They existed more than three million years ago.

“Panther” is also used to refer specifically to the black panther which is not a subspecies but is the name by which melanistic breeds of jaguars and leopards are known. In Latin America, they are black jaguars while in Asia and Africa, they are black leopards. Also named panther are big cats that are tawny or spotted and the white-colored cats such as the white panther.

Leopards, on the other hand, are the smallest of the four big cats and were once found in great numbers in Asia, Africa, and Siberia. Today, they can only be found in Africa and in smaller numbers in the countries of India, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, China, and Malaysia.

They are characterized by a long body, a large skull, and short legs. Although they are smaller compared to the other big-cat species, they are equipped with powerful jaw muscles and strong scapular muscles that allow them to climb trees and carry heavy loads. Their fur has rosettes that resemble those in jaguars although they vary according to their habitats. They can adapt in any habitat, and they are very sly; able to pounce on their prey at high speed. Since they are from the same species, the black panther and the leopard have basically the same characteristics except those black panthers that are melanistic breeds of the jaguar.


1.“Panther” is a word that is used to refer to the four big cats, namely; the lion, tiger, jaguar, and leopard. It is more commonly used to refer to the melanistic breeds of the jaguar and leopard which are the black panther and the white panther while leopards are the smallest of the big cats.
2.Both the panther and the leopard have the ability to roar, and they may have the same characteristics except those panthers that are melanistic breeds of the jaguar.
3.Leopards have yellow fur with rosettes scattered on their fur while black panthers are black in color with no rosettes.
4.The word “panther” come from the Greek words “pan” and “ther” which means “all” and “beast of prey” respectively while the word “leopard” comes from the combination of the Greek words for lion and panther.

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  1. Website difference between.net. Thanks for clarifying the difference between jaguar and leopard for r.

  2. The word panther in greek comes from the words “pan” which means “everything/all” and “thera” which means hunting so it’s more like “the one who hunts everything”

  3. This is beyond fascinating I am one of those people at 63 who have a variety of cat prints throughout my house and I’m always trying to tell everyone know that’s not leopard that’s Panther no that’s not its! Thank you for clarifying so many things

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