Black panthers are members of the big cat family. Their physical appearance has some similarities to that of other big cats, but, since black panthers inhabit vast geographic areas in all kinds of climates and conditions, their physical appearance varies widely.
It is not so easy to distinguish black leopards from black jaguars. Black jaguars are usually bigger than black leopards. Black jaguars have shorter tails and heavier bodies. They also have bigger heads, shorter and stockier legs, and bigger paws relative to their thick muscular bodies. Black leopards look more elegant and slimmer, while black jaguars look more powerful.
Like other big cats, black panthers have long and sensitive whiskers, which can guide their way through thick undergrowth in the dark. They have very long and pointed canine teeth, which help them grasp and kill their prey. The long and thick tails of black panthers help them keep balance well. Their sharp claws come in handy for climbing trees and for hunting. Their cup-shaped ears can pinpoint the exact source of sound. Black panthers have relatively short but powerful legs. When close, they can pounce on their prey with amazing speed, but they usually do not run long distances. (See black panther adaptations for more detail.)
For more information about the physical description of black panthers, see the following: