The leopard (Panthera pardus) is a member of the big cats found in Africa, the Middle East and some parts of Asia.
The South American, equivalent is the Jaguar (Panthera onca), slightly heavier build than the Leopard.
Both the Leopard and the Jaguar have melanistic (black pigmented) individuals, both called black panthers.
Thus a black panther can be a black leopard or a black jaguar.
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Unlike most cat’s the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is primarily diurnal (active during the day).
The “tear marks” (malar stripes) on the face of the cheetah reduces glare from the sun, which increases contrast and as a result improves vision.
The use of glare reducing products (creams and strips) is now a feature in certain sports including American football, baseball and lacrosse.
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Some cats species can purr and others roar but none do both.
It was thought that the characteristics of the hyoid bone determine which cats can roar as all the roaring cats:
- lion (Panthera leo)
- jaguar (Panthera onca)
- tiger (Panthera tigris); and
- leopard (Panthera pardus)
share the same hyoid bone structure.
However, turns out the snow-leopard (Panthera uncia) also shares the same hyoid bone structure, but does not roar but purr.
Back to the drawing board I guess.
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The lion (Panthera leo) is the only cat species that has a tassel at the end of its tail.
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