Black Panther Classification

Confusion exists about the term black panther on various media including internet.  It is generally agreed that the name black panther is not a scientific term for a distinct species but is a common name for some big cats with black coat.  The differences are linked to the scope of cats included.  The name black panther is not a term in taxonomy - a scientific classification system of animal kingdom. Due to historical, geographical and cultural differences in the forming the name black panther, the classification of the black panther falls into three variations:

    1. Most Commonly Used Definition (Common View)

    Only two types of big cats are scientifically recognized as legitimate black panthers: black leopard and black jaguar.

    2. Strict Definition (Purist View)    

    The name black panther only refers to the species of black leopards a melanistic variant of the spotted leopard.

    3. Crypto-Zoological Definition (Broad View)

    The term black panther is used for any type of big cat with a black coat.  Other than the black leopard and black jaguar, the most commonly accepted view of black panthers, people also use the term black panther for all look-like all-black versions of a cat species such as the cougar, puma, tiger, bobcat, lynx, jaguarundi, or even a suspected prehistoric survivor the cave lion.
Black Panther Classification
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