Pitch black

Black Panther: The Big Cat Behind the Big Movie

Born blind, able to run 40 mph, and other facts you don't actually need to know

Bragging Rights GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images Bragging Rights "Black Panther," the movie, earned more than $700 million, globally, in its first two weeks. Impressive. But a real black panther is capable of leaping 10 vertical feet. Oh, and those claws? Retractable! Triple Threat Barcroft/Barcroft Media via Getty Images Triple Threat Panthers are big and strong and fast, measuring from four to six feet long and capable of running up to 40 mph. Also, they can climb trees and are considered excellent swimmers. So escaping isn't really an option. What's for Dinner? Anything That Moves! John Dominis/The LIFE Picture Collection/Getty Images What's for Dinner? Anything That Moves! They are carnivorous and not terribly picky, happily eating anything from deer and monkeys to frogs, even rats. A panther's paws are so powerful that it often kills smaller prey by simply slapping it upside the head and breaking its skull. Six Percenters GUILLAUME SOUVANT/AFP/Getty Images Six Percenters Black panthers are not a distinct species. Their dark pigmentation—melanism—occurs in six percent of the panther (i.e., jaguar and leopard) population. A Panther's Eyes OLGA MALTSEVA/AFP/Getty Images A Panther's Eyes Black panther cubs are born blind; only after about two weeks do they begin to see. Cuddly . . . for Now Anita Bugge/WireImage Cuddly . . . for Now Thanks to their stealth approach, black panthers have been called "the ghost of the forest." Other than a mother with her cubs, they're rarely seen together; instead, they hunt on their own and drag their kills into the trees because, like, why share?
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