What is the difference between panther and puma?
Panther and puma are both members of the Felidae family. Panther refers to all animals in the genus Panthera. They include; tiger, lion, jaguar, and leopard. They have melanistic color variants.
Felidae family is native to America. The animals are closely related to domestic cats. The two are different from each other in terms of size, color, and features.
The main difference between panther and puma is that panther is a general name used for animals in Panther’s genus while Puma is used to refer to puma genus.
Comparison Table (Panther vs Puma)
|Classification||It refers to animals in the Panthera genus.||It refers to animals in the Puma genus.|
|Definition||It is one of the largest cat species in the world.||It is the largest and the wildest cat among all other cats.|
|Origin||They have their origin in Asia and Africa.||They have their origin in America.|
|Color of fur||The color of fur can be black or white.||The color of fur is brown-yellow or grey-red.|
|Habitat||They inhabit forests, swampland, and grasslands.||They inhabit forests and the Rocky Mountains.|
|Appearance||They have a small head, strong jaws, and emerald green eyes. The back legs are slightly larger and stronger than the front legs.||They have large muscular and short legs, small but long skulls.|
|What they prey on||They hunt on animals such as deer, antelopes, small birds, rabbits, warthogs, and wild boar.||They hunt on deer, raccoons, squirrels, foxes, rabbits, and skunks.|
What is a Panther?
Panther is the largest among all other cats. It can roar and can easily adapt to a variety of habitats all over the world. Their origin is in Asia and Africa.
The word refers to an animal genus that includes other many big cats such as lions, tigers, jaguars, leopards. It refers to leopards and jaguars that have spots on their bodies.
Panthers are black due to chromosol mutations. White panthers are referred to as albino panthers. The white color result from albinism nature.
Panthers do not have visible spots like other cats. Due to their dark color, it makes it hard for the spots to be visible on their bodies hence seen as black cats.
They are carnivores. They majorly feed on meat. They feed on animals such as deer, antelopes, wild boar, small birds, warthogs, and rabbits.
They are polygamous and may mate with more than one partner. Males prevent other males from mating with females within their range.
The gestation period is 3 months and gives birth to 2 to 3 young ones. The females take care of the young ones by themselves.
What is a Puma?
Puma has various local names. They are referred to as cougars, mountain lions, catamounts. Its origin is in America. It is closely related to domestic cat only that they are found in mountain areas.
It is a carnivore. It majorly feeds on meat. It hunts on deer, raccoons, squirrels, foxes, rabbits, and skunks. As they are nocturnal animals, they hunt on the animals at night.
They only have one coat color. They do not have markings on their body. The name puma means animals with one coat color.
When killing their prey, they bite the back of the neck, head, or throat. They have strong paws that they use to hold as they bite their prey.
Their gestation period takes 91 days and they give birth to between 1 to 6 cubs. Cubs remain in maternal dens or areas that are well protected to avoid other animals hunting on them.
Main Differences between a Panther and a Puma
- Panthers are one of the largest wild cats known all over the world while puma is the largest and wildest cat breed among all other types of cats.
- Panthers have their origin in Asia and Africa while pumas have their origin in America.
- Panthers have larger and stronger back legs compared to front ones while pumas have short, strong muscular legs.
- Panthers can easily roar while pumas can growl, screech, hiss, and purr but cannot roar.
- Panther’s hut on both big animals and small animals while pumas only hunt on small animals.
- The fur color of panthers can be either black or white while the fur color of pumas can either be brown-yellowish or grey-red.
Similarities between a Panther and a Puma
- Both belong to the same family.
- Both are carnivores.
- Both have a gestation period of three months.
Panthers and pumas belong to the same family. They are both carnivores only that panthers hunt on both big and small animals while pumas hunt on small animals alone.
Panthers have larger and stronger back legs as compared to the front legs and this enables them to run after the big animals and drag them along after killing them.
The main feature that makes panthers be different from pumas is the classification.
Sources and References: