For other uses, see Black Panther disambiguation. It is thought that melanism confers a selective advantage under certain conditions since it is more common in regions of dense forest, where light levels are lower. A pseudo-melanistic leopard has a normal background color, but the spots are more densely packed than normal and merge to obscure the golden-brown background color. There are no authenticated cases of truly melanistic cougars. The head is pretty similar to that of the common cougar; but the animal has long black hair, and likewise a long tail, with strong whiskers. National Geographic — via www.
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