Fascinating Animals

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Archive for the month “September, 2012”

What is a Panther / Black Panther ?

The Panther / Black Panther is not a distinct species itself but is the general name used to refer to any black coloured (melanistic version) feline of the Big Cat family, most notably Leopards and Jaguars.  “Melanism”is the genetic term for full color black.  There are no Pink Panthers (contrary to the movie series with Inspector Closeau).

The Panther is an elusive and powerful animal that has adapted well to a variety of habitats around the world, and is known to be one of the strongest climbers of all felines. Although the Panther is not technically classified as a separate species, they are considered to be endangered by many due to the declining numbers of both leopards and jaguars throughout much of their natural ranges.

Kingdom       Animalia

Phylum         Chordata

Class               Mammalia

Order             Carnivora

Family           Felidae

Genus            Panthera

Species          Panthera pardus   (leopard)

Species          Panther onca      (jaguar)

Tthe term “panther” is also used to describe a number of other dark coated cats by locals in their native habitats, including Cougars, Tigers, Pumas, Lynxes and Bobcats.

More information about Panthers on the Animals A – Z   site.


The Jaguar is the third biggest cat in the world behind the tiger and the lion and is well known for it’s immense power and agility.  The name Jaguar is said to come from the Native American word yaguar which means “he who kills with one leap“.  These beautiful and powerful beasts were prominent in ancient Native American cultures.

The Jaguar is indigenous to the Western Hemisphere, where it primarily inhabits the tropical rainforests of Central and South America.  Its Conservation Status is “near threatened”.

Jaguars have the strongest bite force of all cats and like other ‘big’ cats they can roar.  Although Jaguars usually have yellowish coloured fur, other colours are also known including black and white.  Unlike many other cats, jaguars do not avoid water; in fact, they are quite good swimmers. Rivers provide prey in the form of fish, turtles, or caimans—small, alligatorlike animals. Jaguars also eat larger animals such as deer, peccaries, capybaras, and tapirs.

Jaguars live alone and define territories of many square miles by marking with their waste or clawing trees.


The Leopard is a medium-sized wildcat that is natively found in a variety of habitats across sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia.  There are seven different sub-species of Leopard which differ in their appearance and geographic location.

Leopards can vary greatly in their colouration and markings depending on their surrounding habitat, with those found on open grasslands having a light yellow background coat where those that are found in forests tend to be darker in colour and with more markings.

The dark, ring-like patterns that cover the Leopard’s coat are called rosettes, but these turn to solid spots on the face and limbs (and rings on the tail) and provide the Leopard with camouflage into the surrounding environment. Leopards are incredibly strong and muscular and are able to pull themselves up trees using their legs and retractable claws.

Leopards are not only the widest ranging of all big cats but are actually one of the most adaptable and are found in a variety of habitats. Commonly found throughout sub-Saharan Africa and southern Asia, there are also small and isolated populations of Leopard inhabiting remote geographic locations in the Far East, Northern Africa and Arabia.

The Leopard is a solitary and nocturnal hunter that hunts both on the ground and in the trees. They are excellent climbers and spend the majority of the daytime hours resting in the shade of the branches in the trees or under a sheltered rock. They are quite unique among large felines as Leopards rely heavily on being able to get close enough to their prey  before ambushing it, rather than expelling vast amounts of energy in a high-speed chase.

Black Panthers (Leopards) tend to occur most in dense forests with larger populations being found in southern Asia than in Africa, and are born into a litter that also has yellow cubs. Black Panthers are actually fairly common and it is thought that up to 50% of the Leopards found inhabiting the thick, tropical rainforests of the Malay Peninsula are black.

Today, the Leopard is listed by the IUCN as being an animal that is Near Threatened in its natural environment as populations are stable throughout much of its vast natural range. A number of Leopard sub-species however, are considered to be either Endangered or Critically Endangered in their native habitats and one is thought to now be extinct.

More information about the Jaguar can be found on this site by clicking on the link below.



My “Holland Mold” Panther figurine that I bought from an eBay seller

Your Feedback Wanted for a Free Give-away of “The Crocodile Hunter” Book

Stephen Robert “Steve” Irwin
nicknamed “The Crocodile Hunter”
was an Australian wildlife expert, television personality, and conservationist.

Born: February 22, 1962, Essendon, Victoria

Died: September 4, 2006, Batt Reef, Port Douglas, Queensland

Spouse: Terri Irwin (married 1992)

Movies: The Crocodile Hunter

Children: Bindi Irwin, Robert Clarence Irwin

Parents: Bob Irwin, Lyn Irwin

Since I created this site seven months ago, the number of views has now reached over 77,000 views.  Many of these are people who are just “passing through”, and whom find the site via Google Images.

I would like to know what other information or subjects you would like to see on this site – that are not already specifically covered.

Anyone whom Follows this site – as a WordPress Blogger, or by Email,  & gives feedback by leaving a comment relevant to this Give-away, on this page, will be entered in a draw for the following book –

The Crocodile Hunter by Steve Irwin and Terry Irwin.

Softcover, 202 pages

Book size : 23.5 cm x 19 cm

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Senate Bill 310 regulates the sale and ownership of exotic animals in Ohio

Siberian Tiger Painting by talented artist Jason Morgan

Tiger Paintings – Wildlife Art – Origninals and Prints

Columbus, Ohio  Sep 22, 2012

Signed by Gov. John Kasich, the law, which takes effect in 90 days, bans the acquisition, sale and breeding of restricted species in Ohio as of Jan. 1, 2014.

The mandatory registration of banned species by current owners of banned animals will begin when the bill takes effect.

People who currently own restricted list (banned) animals can keep their animals as long as the animals live, if they register them with the state and follow regulations on caging, signage and care.

On the restricted (banned) list are large cats, bears, elephants, certain monkeys, rhinos, alligators, crocodiles, anacondas and pythons longer than 12 feet, certain vipers and venomous snakes.

There are several classifications of permits, including “wildlife shelter,” which will cost $250 to $1,000, depending on the number of animals. Owners must also buy liability insurance or a surety bond of $200,000 to $1 million.

Ohio has been one of seven states that have no restrictions on private ownership of exotic animals.  The law will ban new ownership of specific wild animals, including big cats, bears, hyenas, gray wolves, some primates, alligators and crocodiles. People who already own these animals can keep them as long as they obtain permits and follow other rules.

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Website Update – Freshwater Fish Fanatics!

Banded Rainbowfish - Melanotaenia trifasciata

Banded Rainbowfish

Johno’s website   Freshwater Fish Fanatics!    is a great resource for those who keep or would like to keep Aquarium fish.   Please visit Johno’s site and “Like” the posts, and / or comment upon Johno’s posts, to give feedback – thus ensuring that the website continues.  Keep up the good work Johno!

3,000 gold fish compete at 1st Chinese gold fish beauty contest

Red & White Oranda Goldfish

Photo Link

More than three thousand ornamental gold fish took part in the inaugural International Goldfish Championships held in Fuzhou city of China on September 16. The gold fish competed in twelve categories to grab the title “World Gold Fish Queen

The first  International Goldfish Competition  opened during the 2012 Cross-strait Fishery Week in Fuzhou in east China’s Fujian Province.

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Heart-kun – Puppy with a Heart

Born on May 18, 2007, this cute long coated male Chihuahua bears a perfect heart shape on his coat.  His owner and breeder, Emiko Sakurada of Odate in the Japanese prefecture of Akita, aptly named him Heart-kun.  Sakurada, who says she’s bred more than 1,000 Chihuahua puppies, said she’d never seen one with markings like Heart-kun.

Heart-kun’s mother gave birth to a new litter of puppies in August 2009, and one of the four tiny pups shares the unique heart-shaped coat marking.  Sakurada has named the new puppy Love-kun, and, although she generally sells the puppies she breeds, she has no intention of parting with Heart-kun or Love-kun.

In that same year, 2009, Heart-kun became a father, and sired a pup with a heart-shaped marking.  The pup has been called Kokoro-chan.

Photos by GETTY IMAGES & REUTERS – Issei Kato, JAPAN.



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Federal government ending Wyoming wolf protections

Wolf walking through the snow in Yellowstone National Park

Posted on 31 August 2012  – Defenders of Wildlife

Click here to go to the Defenders website

The U.S Fish & Wildlife Service has just confirmed our fears in Wyoming — wolves in that state are now officially being removed from the protections of the Endangered Species Act, and will be vulnerable to the state’s wildlife management plan, a document hardly worthy of the name. Since speaking with officials at the White House and the USFWS, I knew this day could be coming soon, but I hoped that those with the power to make this decision would see reason and allow science, not politics, to carry the day.

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