Let’s know about the African panther. The African leopard is one of the most popular and known leopard species in the world . African leopards have a very remarkable sexual dimorphism. This is because the overall appearance of males is larger and heavier than that of females. Females are usually smaller in size and 40% lighter than males. These animals have quite curious habits worth studying.
Therefore, we are going to dedicate this article to tell you everything you need to know about the African leopard.
characteristics of the African panther
The length of these animals is about 1.9 m. Males generally weigh between 60 and 90 kg, while females weigh around 40 kg. The main feature of the African leopard is the color of its skin. It has a yellowish color that is decorated with small spots that are almost perfectly round and the color of these spots is darker than that of the skin.
Apart from being very thick in texture, these animals also have spots all over their body. These spots do not have a constant size throughout the body. Their size varies as the snout portion is much smaller than the rest. The lower part of the body is white and the color of the rest of the body is very pale yellow. These colors have been indicated to enable them to hide among the grasses of the African savannah.
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These animals depend on this camouflage ability to be able to hunt their prey. The color of the eyes is not golden or yellow and the tail is very long. They also have spots on the tail, although the tip of their tail has a color that varies between black and white.
Area of Habitat and Distribution
Since this animal has adapted to different environments, it can be found in many different habitats. The most common habitats in which these animals usually reside are tropical forests, barren deserts, wooded thickets, and some high mountain lands. To be able to live and adapt to an area they need good cover and an adequate source of food supply. Since they are animals that belong to the upper part of the food chain, they are born hunters. They need prey to hunt and feed themselves.
With regard to its area of distribution, we see that the African panther is distributed throughout sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia. It can also be found in small isolated populations and in remote areas of the Far East, North Africa and Arabia.
What do African panthers eat?
These animals are quite versatile carnivores and hunters. Since their diet is primarily based on the provision of available food, they have to adapt to any of them. African leopards can be seen doing a variety of prey. They mainly eat antelope, gazelle, baboons, monkeys, impala, zebras, jackals, rabbits, fish and snakes.
These animals usually wait for sunrise and sunset to hunt. They also do this at night if they are ready to hunt for their prey. Hunting should be done secretly. The first is to choose the prey they are going to catch. Next, they must approach it stealthily and when they are at the right and safe distance for the prey to notice its presence. , Leaps to catch its prey. These animals are capable of running at high speed but get tired very quickly. You are at a disadvantage when it comes to chasing animals with high resistance.
They have a great acceleration which guarantees them maximum success in their hunt. However, they also fail when it comes to catching prey as they tire very quickly. To protect the food from other predators and to feed safely, it usually picks up its prey and carries it to a tree about 9 meters high. In this way it is guaranteed that the prey caught belongs only to him.
You can see the behavior of African leopards which are solitary animals. They are usually only joined to have a single species in color. It reaches sexual maturity after reaching 2 years of age. When males and females meet, each takes a different route after mating. The female should give birth to the young for about 3 months. They can have 1 to 6 pups in each birth.
The female is in charge of caring for the pups from birth until they can take care of themselves. After pregnancy, it is the duty of the female to find a safe place where she can give birth to the pups and keep them safe. These pups are subsequently constantly moved from one shelter to another to prevent poachers from killing the pups. It is the mothers who teach the cubs to defend themselves and be able to hunt their prey.
After the first 3 months, they do not need to be breastfed by their mother. However, these animals stay next to their mother until they are 18 months old. This time has passed, their mother encourages them to establish their own territory and become independent. This is when the pack has split up and the mother may be ready to reunite.
It is one of the animals found in the IUCN catalog as Endangered within its natural environment. The population of these leopards is stable, but they have started having problems. Some subspecies of the African leopard are considered critically endangered by some human impacts. For example, the Zanzibar leopard subspecies is considered extinct. Subspecies usually suffer more because they are more isolated geographically and have smaller populations.