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Difference Between Panther and Puma

Panther vs Puma

“Panther” is the word that is used to technically refer to all members of the animal genus Panthera of the Felidae or cat family. It includes the tiger and lion, the jaguar and leopard which have melanistic color variants called the black panther and, in some cases, white panther.

Members of the genus are the only cat species that can roar. The tiger is the earliest member to exist, and the genus probably evolved in Asia some six to ten million years ago. They can be found in various places particularly in Asia and Africa and also the Americas. The tiger is the largest among the members of the Panthera genus with the lion coming in second. The jaguar is the strongest among them, able to climb trees like the leopard. The leopard and the jaguar are spotted.

The word “panther” comes from the Old French word “pantere” from the Latin word “panthera” and the Greek words “pan” meaning “all” and “ther” meaning “beast” which are used to refer to all spotted cats which are good hunters and predators. It may also have come from the Sanskrit word “pundarikam” which means “yellowish animal” referring to the tiger. Today the word “panther” is more popularly used to refer to the black panther which can either be a jaguar or a leopard.

Another member of the Felidae or cat family which is also called a panther is the cougar, and the mountain lion is the puma. It is a genus of the Felidae family which is native to the Americas. It is closely related to the domestic cat than to its cousin, the lion, which it resembles in appearance. Its size varies according to its habitat, but pumas are often found in mountainous areas thus the name mountain lion. It is a solitary animal which is widely distributed in different parts of the Americas providing it with several names and making the puma the animal with the most number of names.

The word “cougar” comes from the Portuguese word “cucuarana” which was derived from the Tupi language while the word “puma” comes from the Spanish word “puma” which was derived from the Quecha language of Peru.

Summary:

1.The word “panther” is used to refer to members of the animal genus Panthera which include the tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard while the word “puma” refers to the genus Puma which is also the name for its member, the cougar.
2.Both the panther and the puma are members of the Felidae or cat family, the panther being native to Asia and Africa although they can also be found in the Americas where the puma is a native.
3.The word “panther” is also used to refer to the melanistic mutations of the jaguar and the leopard which are either black (black panther) or white (white panther) while “puma” is used to refer to the mountain lion or the cougar.
4.The word “panther” comes from the Greek words “pan” (all) and “ther” (beast) while the word “puma” comes from the Quecha language of Peru through the Spanish word “puma.”


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