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Panther vs. Puma: What's the Difference?

Edited by Huma Saeed || By Sumera Saeed || Published on November 28, 2023
Panther refers to a term used to describe leopards (in Asia and Africa) or jaguars (in the Americas) with black coloration. Puma refers to a large cat species native to the Americas, also known as a cougar or mountain lion.

Key Differences

Panther is a general term often used for melanistic (black) big cats, specifically leopards in Asia and Africa, and jaguars in the Americas. While, puma, also known as a cougar or mountain lion, is a specific species of large cat native to the Americas.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
The term panther can be misleading as it doesn't refer to a distinct species, but to color variations in leopards and jaguars. However, pumas are a distinct species and are one of the largest cat species in the Americas.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
Panthers (black leopards or jaguars) exhibit a condition called melanism, where the fur has an increased amount of dark pigment. Whereas, pumas have a consistent fur coloration, usually tan or light brown, without any significant pattern.
Huma Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
In their respective habitats, panthers (as black leopards or jaguars) are often apex predators and have a wide range. Meanwhile, pumas also hold the status of apex predators in their ecosystem, with a wide geographical range from North to South America.
Harlon Moss
Nov 28, 2023
The physical appearance of a panther varies depending on whether it's a leopard or a jaguar. Pumas have a more uniform appearance, with a slender body, a small head, and a long tail.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
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Comparison Chart

Species

Melanistic variant of leopards or jaguars
Specific species (Puma concolor)
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Distribution

Asia and Africa (leopards), Americas (jaguars)
Americas, from Canada to South America
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Coloration

Black due to melanism
Tan or light brown, without dark patterns
Huma Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Habitat

Rainforests, grasslands, mountains
Forests, mountains, deserts
Janet White
Nov 28, 2023

Physical Features

Varies (leopards are smaller, jaguars larger)
Slender body, small head, long tail
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023
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Panther and Puma Definitions

Panther

Leopard or jaguar variant.
In Asia, a panther is typically a black leopard.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Puma

Keen hunter.
The puma is known for its stealth and strength.
Janet White
Nov 17, 2023

Panther

Wild cat.
Panthers are elusive and rarely seen by humans.
Harlon Moss
Nov 17, 2023

Puma

Large American cat.
The puma roamed the mountainous terrain.
Huma Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Panther

Melanistic big cat.
The panther moved silently through the jungle at night.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Puma

Solitary predator.
The puma prefers to hunt alone.
Janet White
Nov 17, 2023

Panther

Apex predator.
The panther is at the top of its food chain.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 17, 2023

Puma

Cougar synonym.
In North America, the puma is often called a cougar.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 17, 2023

Panther

Black coloration.
The panther's black fur helps it camouflage in the dark.
Harlon Moss
Nov 17, 2023

Puma

Adaptable habitat.
Pumas can thrive in various environments.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 17, 2023

Panther

A large wild cat such as a leopard or jaguar, especially in a color form with black fur.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Puma

See cougar.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Panther

See cougar.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

Puma

A mountain lion or cougar (Puma concolor).
Sumera Saeed
Nov 16, 2023

FAQs

What is a panther?

A panther refers to a melanistic leopard or jaguar.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

What causes a panther's black color?

Melanism, a genetic variation, causes the black coloration.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

What do pumas eat?

Pumas are carnivorous, primarily hunting deer and other mammals.
Janet White
Nov 28, 2023

How large can pumas grow?

Pumas can grow up to 8 feet in length, including their tail.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Where do pumas live?

Pumas inhabit a range from North to South America.
Huma Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Are panthers a separate species?

No, panthers are not a distinct species but a color variant of leopards or jaguars.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Do panthers live in groups?

No, like most big cats, panthers are solitary animals.
Harlon Moss
Nov 28, 2023

What is the lifespan of a puma?

In the wild, pumas can live up to 10 years.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can pumas be black like panthers?

Pumas do not typically exhibit melanism like panthers.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

How fast can a puma run?

Pumas can reach speeds up to 50 mph in short bursts.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 28, 2023

What is the range of a panther's territory?

It varies, but leopards and jaguars can have large territories.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 28, 2023

Is a panther the same as a black panther?

Yes, the term "black panther" usually refers to a melanistic panther.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Can panthers climb trees?

Yes, especially the leopard variant of panthers is an adept climber.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

How do pumas communicate?

Pumas communicate through vocalizations, scent markings, and body language.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Do panthers hunt during the day or night?

Panthers can be both nocturnal and diurnal hunters.
Janet White
Nov 28, 2023

Are panthers only found in the wild?

Yes, panthers are wild animals and not domesticated.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 28, 2023

Are panthers found in America?

Yes, the jaguar variant of panthers can be found in the Americas.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 28, 2023

Do pumas have any natural predators?

Adult pumas have few natural predators, with humans being the primary threat.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 28, 2023

Are pumas endangered?

Pumas are not currently endangered but face habitat loss.
Janet White
Nov 28, 2023

Can pumas swim?

Pumas are capable swimmers but do not prefer water.
Janet White
Nov 28, 2023
About Author
Written by
Sumera Saeed
Sumera is an experienced content writer and editor with a niche in comparative analysis. At Diffeence Wiki, she crafts clear and unbiased comparisons to guide readers in making informed decisions. With a dedication to thorough research and quality, Sumera's work stands out in the digital realm. Off the clock, she enjoys reading and exploring diverse cultures.
Edited by
Huma Saeed
Huma is a renowned researcher acclaimed for her innovative work in Difference Wiki. Her dedication has led to key breakthroughs, establishing her prominence in academia. Her contributions continually inspire and guide her field.

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