Sidney Robertson 1-12-11

Black Panther
My paper is about the Black Panther. These cats are extraordinarily smart. How they evolved, where they are on the phylogenetic tree and who the closest relatives to them is just the beginning. The Black Panther is a beautiful cat of the jungle. There are distinctively known for their solid black coats and yellow eyes. Panthers evolved in Asia. The definite genus of where they are really from is still unclear. The divergence of panthers and all other living cat species has been ranked between 6 and 10 million years ago. There are four different panther group species but man subspecies of the leopard and lions are questionable. Recently it has been proposed that all sub Saharan populations of leopards are of the same leopard subspecies and that all sub Saharan population of lions likewise belong to the same lion subspecies. They do not have sufficient genetic distinction between them. The Black Panther is not a distinct species but is just the common name for black specimens of the genus, most often encountered in jaguar and leopard species. (Wikipedia.org/wiki/blackpanther). Cat species compromise about 16 percent of the world s carnivores. The classification has fluctuated since new morphological and genetic research has been documented. The felidae family has 18 genera and includes about 40 species, Black Panther being one of them. There are 13 genera within the feline subfamily. Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Mammalia Family: Felidae Order: Carnivora Genus: Panthera Species: Lion, Tiger, Jaguar, Leopard

The closest relative to the Black Panther is the jaguar by a recessive allele. Another relative is the Black Leopard the only difference between a black leopard and a normal colored leopard is that there is a high amount of pigment or melanistic coloration causing the color in the four to be very dark or black. Melanism occurs because of a gene mutation of the leopard. Cougars are also somewhat relatives of the Black Panther. Although no melanistic cougars have ever been photographed there still is a chance that the black cougar does exist. (blackpantheranimal.com). How does the Black Panther s environment influence it s mating and eating habits? The Black Panther is very stealthy. They have earned the nickname the ghost of the forest. The Black Panther is also very solitary, other than a female and her cubs or mating pairs in the breeding season. Adult Black Panthers are way more temperamental than normal colored Panthers. This is because they are more inbred than regular panthers. (blackpantheranimal.com). Black Panthers are successful hunters and easily adapt to diverse environments and various circumstances. Most hunt at night. They are masters of concealment using anything they can use to hide themselves from their prey. As they wait they are silent and still blending in well with the background. It kills its prey by a single bite to the back of the neck with its powerful jaws or by strangling it by its paws. Even though they are smaller members of the cat family they can kill some animals bigger and heavier than them. Some can carry prey up to twice the panther s weight. (blackpantheranimal.com).

How does the Black Panther s environment influence its coat pattern and defying physical adaptions? The Black Panther is a nocturnal hunter. Meaning they hunt at night. Its solid black coat helps as a camouflage to get its prey. Some Panthers have different shades of black. Often the panther will perch on a tree and wait for something to walk under it so the panther can just pounce on it killing whatever it is instantly. Black Panther s easily adapt to different environments. They are not the biggest cats but they do have very muscular bodies, powerful jaws and long sharp teeth. When they stalk their prey Black Panthers retract their claws to be quieter. Long whiskers help them feel their way through thick brush in the dark. Panthers can smell their prey from very far away without even seeing them. (Wikipedia.org/wiki/blackpanther).

Hopefully my paper taught you a little something about the Black Panther. I think the Black Panther is a successful species and will not go extinct any time soon. They have been able to survive longer than other cats. The Black Panther is a beautiful cat that people should pay more attention too without them we wouldn t have any pure black wild cats.

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