15 Roar-some Facts About Black Panthers ​That Kids Will Love

Black panther facts are interesting to read.

The word 'black panther' refers to each of the three types of large cats which are black leopards (Panthera pardus), black jaguars (Panthera onca), and black cougars (Puma concolor). The species is given the name because of the shiny black fur of the panthers, due to a skin condition called melanism. It is the result of a mutation of a gene that induces an excessive production of melanin, a type of dark pigment. Depending on whether they are jaguars, leopards, or cougars, black panthers can range across tropical and deciduous forests, marshlands, grasslands, mountains, and even deserts. They exist on the continents of Asia, Africa, and America.

A black jaguar lives in a major part of South and Central America, as well as a few parts of Mexico. The black leopard is found in the northeast and sub-Saharan regions of Africa, Central Asia, Sri Lanka, southern India, and China. Black cougars live across Central and South America and the western part of North America.

Panthers are carnivorous animals. They have exceptional vision and hearing, allowing them to be extremely competent and active predators in the wild.

Continue reading for more fascinating black panther animal facts for kids!

If you liked this article, you may also read about the Javan leopard and the jaguar.

Black Panther

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Deer, Rabbits, Wild Boars

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

2-4 cubs

How much do they weigh?

Male leopards- 80-165 lb (36-75 kg) Female leopards- 46-132 lb (21-60 kg) Male jaguars- 126-250 lb (57-113 kg) Female jaguars- 100-200 lb (45-91 kg) Male cougars-117-220 lb (53-100 kg) Female cougars- 64-141 lb (29-64 kg)

How long are they?

Leopard- 35-63 in (90-160 cm) (without the tail)

Jaguars- 59-71 in (150-180 cm) (without the tail)

Cougar- 42-54 in (106-137 cm) (without the tail)

How tall are they?

Leopard- 24-27 in (60-70 cm)

Jaguars- 24-29 in (63-76 cm)

Cougars- 24-35 in (60-90 cm)

What do they look like?

Black Fur

Skin Type


What are their main threats?


What is their conservation status?

Leopard- Vulnerable Jaguar- Near Threatened Cougar- Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Deciduous and Dense Tropical Forests, Marshlands, Grasslands, Deserts, Mountains


Asia, America, Africa





Scientific Name

Leopard- Panthera pardus Jaguar- Panthera onca Cougar- Puma concolor





Black Panther Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a black panther?

A black panther is a type of felid species, belonging to the genus Panthera. The black panther is not distinct species but is the common name for any black leopard, black cougar, or black jaguar.

What class of animal does a black panther belong to?

The black panther animal belongs to the Mammalia class and Felidae family.

How many black panthers are there in the world?

There is no accurate data about the overall black panther population in the world because it is quite a rare sight to spot a black panther.

Where does a black panther live?

The black panther is found in three continents; Asia, Africa, and America depending on whether they are a black jaguar, black leopard, or a black cougar.

Black jaguars (Panthera onca) reside in the South and Central parts of America, as well as a few parts of Mexico. They are mainly found in the thick wetlands of the Amazon in Brazil, Paraguay, Bolivia, and Peru.

Black leopards (Panthera pardus) are found in the northeast and sub-Saharan regions of Africa, Central Asia, Sri Lanka, Kenya, southern India, and China. While black leopards are extremely rare in Africa's tropical regions, they have been spotted in Mount Kenya and the Aberdares forests.

Cougars (Puma concolor), or mountain lions, live across Central and South America and the western part of North America.

What is a black panther's habitat?

The black panther's habitat has a wide range, depending on the species.

The leopards reside in forests, grasslands, scrublands, arid deserts, and mountains. Whereas, jaguars favor a habitat with wetlands and tropical climate, but can also live in grasslands. Meanwhile, cougars are also highly adaptable panthers, who tend to live in a forest with dense vegetation, along with swamps, rocky cliffs, and mountain ranges.

Who do black panthers live with?

Black panthers are solitary animals, who prefer to live and find their prey alone at night. They can be only seen together during the breeding season. The cubs stay with their mothers for two years before they become independent and establish their own territory.

How long does a black panther live?

The population of black jaguars and black leopards approximately live for 12-17 years in the wild and 20-15 years in captivity. Black cougars have a lifespan of 10 years in the wild and if they are captured and taken care of, they can survive for at least 20 years.

How do they reproduce?

These melanistic big cats are polygamous in nature, which means they have no fixed mating partner. They mate all year round. The mating pairs will sleep and hunt together for up to a week. The females attract their potential mates with the scent of their urine and vocal signals. The male panther, like most species, may try to prevent other males in the vicinity from mating with the female, but he does not always succeed.

The gestation period of the females is around three months, after which they give birth to a litter of up to four cubs. Black panther cubs are blind when they are born and the mothers have to look after these young panthers diligently until they are two weeks old. After a few months, while following the mothers in their hunt, the young ones learn to hunt as well.

Jaguars are mostly dark black species because of the dominant gene mutation of this genetic variant. They can give birth to either black or spotted cubs. On the other hand, sometimes spotted leopards can give birth to black cubs due to the recessive gene mutation present in these animals. It happens when both the parents have this variant hidden in their genes.

What is their conservation status?

It is known that the black panther is not a specific animal. In fact, any leopard, jaguar, or cougar who has a black-colored coat, is referred to as a blank panther. Therefore, according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the leopard is Vulnerable, the jaguar is Near Threatened, and the cougar is of Least Concern. These animals are steadily declining because of illegal poaching and deforestation.

Black Panther Fun Facts

What do black panthers look like?

Black panther facts tell us about this melanistic animal.

These melanistic panthers have a comparatively smaller head, a large body and a long tail. In reality, black panthers have a spotted pattern, but they tend to be hidden due to their dark coat. Black panther's eyes are emerald-colored and glow in the night.

Sometimes, panthers have a mutation of a gene in their body, which results in excess production of the dark pigment known as melanin. Melanism is found in at least 6% of the total population of panthers.

How cute are they?

This magnificent animal belongs to the cat family and you might find it cute if you are fond of big wild cats. The cubs are extremely adorable, due to their playful nature and resemblance to a house cat.

How do they communicate?

Like any other wild cats, Black panthers use vocalizations to communicate with one another, mostly to protect their territories. They also produce other sounds such as hisses, snarls, and growls.

How big is a black panther?

Without the tail, a leopard is 35-63 in (90-160 cm), a jaguar is 59-71 in (150-180 cm) and a cougar is 42-54 in (106-137 cm) long. A black panther size is almost similar to a tiger and four times bigger than a house cat.

How fast can a black panther run?

One of the most interesting panther facts is how fast these species can run. Leopards can run at the speed of 36 mph (58 kph), while jaguars and cougars can run at the speed of 50 mph (80 kph). Due to their swift pace, these big cats can easily catch deer, antelopes, and rabbits.

How much does a black panther weigh?

Their weight varies with their species. Male leopards range between 80-165 lb (36-75 kg), while, female leopards weigh between 46-132 lb (21-60 kg). Male jaguars have a mass between 126-250 lb (57-113 kg), while, female jaguars weigh between 100-200 lb (45-91 kg). Male cougars weigh 117-220 lb (53-100 kg) and female cougars weigh around 64-141 lb (29-64 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no distinct names for a male or female black panthers.

What would you call a baby black panther?

A black panther baby is known as a cub.

What do they eat?

Black panthers are carnivorous animals, who fiercely prey on animals like deer, wild boars, antelopes, and livestock animals like goats, sheep, and cows. The black panther's diet also includes smaller animals like rabbits, fish, and birds. These powerful predators, especially leopards, can climb on trees quite efficiently and catch prey from a height of 20 ft. Their black fur allows this animal to easily camouflage in the dark night and its incredible eyesight helps it to track prey.

Are they dangerous?

Yes, undoubtedly these big cats are dangerous predators. They will also attack humans and kill them if they feel threatened.

Would they make a good pet?

No, these big cats cannot be tamed and domesticated. Panthers prefer hunting and living all on their own.

Did you know...

The name of the famous Marvel superhero 'Black Panther' is inspired by this animal.

Black panthers are often referred to as 'the ghost of the forest', due to their ambush hunting abilities.

We already know that due to a rare mutation known as melanism, black panthers have black fur. In the same way due to a mutation known as albinism, sometimes leopards, cougars, and jaguars have pale white fur. They are known as white panthers.

One of the interesting black panther characteristics is how they mark their territories in the form of feces or urine, which sends a signal to other panthers.

Is a black panther a jaguar?

A black panther is not a specific animal but refers to as any leopard (Panthera pardus), cougar (Puma concolor), or jaguar (Panthera onca), who flaunts a black-colored coat. So yes, a black panther can be a jaguar with a skin condition known as melanism.

How strong is a black panther?

Black panthers or black leopards, black jaguars, and black cougars are extremely powerful predators with sharp claws and strong legs. Also, this animal is extremely fast, and its elusive hunting and camouflage skills make it formidable to its prey. It is also noticed that melanism is an advantage for this animal because, in the dark and dense forest, it can easily stalk and kill its prey without getting noticed.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other mammals including lion facts, or liger facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable black panther coloring pages.



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