Panther is a broad term referring to any black big-cat species, but most commonly leopards and jaguars. Depending on their continental location, leopards eat deer, monkeys, wildebeest and rodents, while jaguars hunt for deer, peccary, monkeys, tapirs, reptiles, eggs and fish, according to the Defenders of Wildlife organization.
Leopards are nocturnal cats native to Asia, Africa, Russia and the Middle East. They survive in diverse habitats ranging from mountains to deserts, Defenders of Wildlife states. Leopards are known for their stealthy hunting skills and often hide near tall grasses and watering holes, sneaking up on antelope, warthogs, cheetah cubs and other animals while they feed, according to the San Diego Zoo. Many leopards stalk prey from above, pouncing on unsuspecting animals and storing their kills in tree branches. Due to their great strength and sharp senses, leopards can catch a wide variety of animal types, including birds, fish, snakes, baboons and giraffes.
The North American jaguar population has largely dwindled, and their habitats in South America are highly endangered. Jaguars occupy rain forests, swamps, grasslands and deciduous forests where they hunt land and aquatic animals, according to Defenders of Wildlife. Jaguars have strong crushing jaws and superior swimming skills, allowing them to take on large animals, such as crocodiles, and small, water-dwelling creatures, such as frogs, turtles and fish.