Does the "black panther" really exist? I read there are variations of black leopards, black jaguars and such but the animal we know as "black panther" is just a myth.


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Ray Dart Profile
Ray Dart answered

Black panthers (melanistic leopards) certainly exist, and they had an example in London zoo for some years. The reason for the melanism is not really known, and of course they stand out sufficiently well in the wild to be at a bit of a disadvantage when hunting - compared to a "normal" leopard. 

Closer examination** of the fur of a black panther show that they actually STILL have spots - different shades of black - in the fur.

**Closer examination is not advised in the wild. (Unless you wish to be mauled and eaten).

2 People thanked the writer.
Virginia Zuloaga
Virginia Zuloaga commented
Hi Ray! Thank you for your answer. I was shocked to find out that the "black panther" was not really black and I've seen a few videos lately where you can see the "melanism" under different lights. The panther is still my favorite animal and I find it even more special with this late finding.

Unfortunately, or fortunately, I haven't been able to perform a closer examination in the wild of this "kitty cat" - or any other specimen from its extended family - though I would love to if only the chances of NOT being eaten where higher than 80%.

I guess I'll just stick to my cat. With 24 pounds he could be categorized into the larger felines families but he doesn't like meat... which is a good thing for us! ;-)
skyler mcCoy
skyler mcCoy commented
they do exist in the real world

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