The leopard (Panthera pardus) is one of the five "big cats" in the genus Panthera. It is a member of the family Felidae with a wide range in regions of sub-Saharan Africa, West Asia, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia to Siberia.Fossil records found in Italy suggest that in the Pleistocene it ranged as far as Europe. Compared to other members of Felidae, the leopard has relatively short legs and a long body with a large skull. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but is smaller and more lightly built. Its fur is marked with rosettes similar to those of the jaguar, but the leopard's rosettes are smaller and more densely packed, and do not usually have central spots as the jaguar's do. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known as black panthers.
Flag This Item