In the final of the “3 million euro week” of “Who wants to be a millionaire?” A candidate was not sure about a question – and threw the dice for the right answer. The die was cast – the answer was wrong. The woman’s profit melted from 57,000 euros to 8,000 euros.
But there was also a question to it. “The black-furred representatives of which animals are colloquially referred to as black panthers?” moderator Günther Jauch wanted to know from the candidate. The answer options were: A) cheetah & puma B) cougar & leopard C) leopard & jaguar or D) jaguar & cheetah. Did you know?
Black panthers exhibit melanism
Panthers are black – most people should know that. Many know the animal from the Jungle Book – others from the zoo. But now Günther Jauch claims in his show that two animals are called black panthers. And that’s true – but the reason for this is not easily explained. Because the fact is: The panther is actually not a separate animal species.
The nature and environmental protection organization WWF explains: A panther is either a black leopard (Panthera pardus) or a black jaguar (Panthera onca). The animals referred to as panthers only have that name because they exhibit melanism. This is a “black pigmentation of the coat due to an overproduction of the pigment eumelanin,” according to the WWF. In short: The coat is black because of a gene mutation.
Jaguars are significantly larger than leopards
The animals still belong to their species – leopard or jaguar – but do not stand out because of the typical spots on their fur. Colloquially, at some point people simply went over to calling the animals with the black fur “panthers”. But that says nothing about their nature. If you take a close look – and if the light falls well – you can still see the dots through the black fur.
If you are worried about meeting a panther in the wild and not knowing whether it is a leopard or a jaguar, we can put your mind at ease. First, answering this question may not be the viewer’s greatest problem. And secondly, according to the WWF, leopards live in Asia and Africa – and jaguars in Central and South America. Jaguars are also significantly larger and bulkier than leopards and weigh up to 120 kilograms – leopards weigh a maximum of 70 kilograms. So it should be easy to tell which big cat is facing you. likes to walk away, addresses them by their real names: Panthera pardus (leopard) or Panthera onca (jaguar).