Difference between Tiger and Panther

Key Difference: Tigers or Panthera tigris is a feline from the Felidae family. Tigers have a large muscular body with powerful forelimbs, which are used for hunting and climbing. Tigers’ fur color varies between shades of yellow, orange and brown; with white around the stomach are and black stripes along the back. Panther or Pantera is a genus in the Felidae family that consists of the tiger, the lion, the jaguar, and the leopard as species. Though the name Panther refers to all of the members of the genius, it is most commonly assigned to the Black Panther, which is a melanistic jaguar or leopard and the Florida panther, a subspecies of cougar.

Tigers or Panthera tigris is a feline from the Felidae family that can reach a total body length of 11ft and weight up to 306kg. Due to poaching and loss of habitat, tigers have been classified as endangered by IUCN. Tigers have a large muscular body with powerful forelimbs, which are used for hunting and climbing. Fur color of tigers varies between shades of yellow, orange and brown; with white around the stomach are and black stripes along the back. They have long whiskers and circular pupils with yellow irises. A tiger’s stripes are as unique as fingerprints for humans; each tiger’s stripes differ from other, making it easier to identify them.

A tiger has nine subspecies, of which three are extinct. The Bengal Tiger (most common), the Indochinese tiger, the Malayan tiger, the Sumatran tiger, the Siberian tiger and the South China tiger species still continue to exist, while the Bali tiger, the Caspian tiger and the Javan tiger have become extinct. Previously, tigers were found throughout Asia, from the Caucasus and the Caspian Sea to Siberia and the Indonesian islands of Java, Bali and Sumatra. However, today, tigers can only be found in India, Western China, Southeast Asia and Sumatra.

Tigers are very territorial and may mark their territories through urinating on nearby plants and trees, spraying anal gland secretions or marking trails with scat. They are very solitary creatures and tend to live alone. A territory of a tiger can range from 20 km2 (females) to 100 km2 (males). Tigers are strong swimmers and enjoy bathing or cooling off in nearby ponds. A tiger’s diet consists of large to medium size animals such as Sambar, chital, barasingha, wild boar, gaur, nilgai and both water buffalo and domestic buffalo, deer, moose, sloth bears, crocodiles, etc. Tigers prefer to hunt at night and the stripes work as camouflages.

Tigers mate all year around, but more commonly between November and April. Gestation period for tigers range from 93 to 112 days and a litter can contain up to 6 cubs. A lifespan for a tiger in the wild is 20 years; while in captivity is 24-26 years. Tigers are very vocal and can roar, moan, hiss and growl.

Panther or Pantera is a genus in the Felidae family that consists of the tiger, the lion, the jaguar, and the leopard as species. Though the name Panther refers to all of the members of the genius, it is most commonly assigned to the Black Panther, which is a melanistic jaguar, leopard and the Florida panther, a subspecies of cougar. Only four of the Panthera cat species have the ability to roar.

Black panthers are most commonly melanistic variations of jaguars, leopards, and very rare black tigers. Black panthers are most commonly found in southwestern China, Myanmar, Assam and Nepal, from Travancore and other parts of southern India. In Jaguars, the melanism gene is dominant and black jaguars may produce either black or spotted cubs.

Panthers can also be white in color, which are generally a white cougar, a white jaguar or a white leopard. These creatures are very rare and the whiteness is sometimes attributed to albinism or leucism in the animal. White panthers are found to be more aggressive than their counterparts. Sightings of white panthers have been reported in southern China, Hazaribagh in India and Zimbabwe.

Image Courtesy: wikimedia.org, wallpapers.net

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