If you love paranormal romance, then you’ve probably been bitten by the shifter bug. Who isn’t drawn to a man or woman in touch with their primal side? We’ve all been exposed to werewolves, but my first real experience with a werecat of any kind was with Sookie Stackhouse in the Southern Vampire Mysteries series. Crystal Norris is refered to as a werepanther and ignorant as I was, I blindly accepted this without question.
Recently, I decided to write a shifter romance and thought the elusive black panther would be a great choice for my hero. I have many faults, but the one thing I pride myself on is my willingness to do research before I commit to any idea–the information I gather isn’t always right, mind you, but I do put forth the effort. I was surprised to learn that a panther is not a specific species of feline, but rather a broad term usually used to describe one of the four “big cats” of the Panthera genus: leopard, jaguar, tiger, and lion. All four are well known for their ability to roar, which makes them distinctive among felines.
Black and White Panthers are melanistic, leucistic, or albinistic felines. Their unique coloring is a resolute of genetic mutation. Many scientists believe that such mutations are a resolute of climate and/or other geographical factors.