The leopard, Panthera pardus, is a member of the Felidae family and widely distributed throughout Africa and Asia. They are commonly yellow, buff, or gray, patterned with black spots and rings. The rings, unlike those of the New World jaguar , never have spots inside them. Black leopards are commonly called panthers, a name sometimes used for all leopards. They are not a distinct species but merely a color variant caused by melanism, or excessive pigmentation. Close inspection reveals the typical spotting, which is obscured by the darkness of the background.
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