PANTHER

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PANTHER (felis pardus). There is much discrepancy of opinion among naturalists as to the distinctive characters of the panther and leopard, most zoologists having assumed that the former had six or seven rows of black spots in the form of roses, that is, formed by the assemblage of five or six simple spots, on each flank, whilst the latter had ten rows of still smaller spots. Mr. Bowdich, however, states that some skins procured in Africa proved that this distinction was erroneous. Mr. Ternminck considers the leopard of Cuvier as a variety of the panther of the same author, and classes them both as leopards; and BmTon confounds the jaguar with the panther. The panther of Temminck is the F. chalybeata, found in Eastern Asia. It is observed by Cuvier, that this cannot be the panther of the ancients, as they procured the vast numbers exhibited at Rome from Africa. Pliny states, that Scaurus exhibited at one time one hundred and fifty; Pompey the Great, four hundred and ten; Augustus, four hundred and twenty. The panther is still found in42 # Africa, from Barbary to the most remote parts of Guinea. It is to Africa, says Mr. Pennant, what the tiger is to Asia, with this difference, that it prefers the flesh of brutes to that of human beings. It is almost untamable, always retaining its fierce, malevolent aspect, and perpetual muttering growl. The female is pregnant about nine weeks, and the young are born blind, continuing so for about nine days. The animal known under the name of panther, or more generally painter, in the U. States, is the cougar or puma. (See Puma.)