Animal facts and questions- Difference between cheetah and leopard
The cheetah, known as the hunting leopard, is a big cat in the genus Acinonyx. Cheetahs occur mostly in eastern and southern Africa as well as some parts of Iran. While the leopard (Panthera pardus) is one of the five "big cats" in the genus of Panthera. It is a member of the family Felidae. Leopards mainly show up in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. And many of us are often confused when it comes to tell a cheetah and a leopard apart. So how to tell what is a cheetah and what is a leopard? In this article, we will note down some major differences between leopard and cheetah. Let's check out to find the answer and know more about these two animals
Difference between cheetah and leopard - Cheetah v Leopard
Difference between cheetah and leopard
Cheetahs have solid black round/oval spots and black "tear lines" that run from the corner of their eyes down the sides of their nose to their mouth (the lines keep sunlight out of the cheetahs' eyes while hunting). They're also lankier than rest of the big cats and have smaller jaws and longer tails. They hunt during the day and rely on bursts of speed (up to 75mph over short distances). That is one of interesting cheetah facts for kids. When walking and running, they pace, moving their two left legs and then their two right legs. Unlike leopards and other big cats, they can purr while they inhale, but can't roar.
Leopards have more complex spotting pattern of clusters of black and brown spots which look like roses, called rosettes. This pattern simulates shifting plants and shadows, providing camoflage as the leopards stalk their prey from tall grass and underbrush. Leopards in eastern Africa have circular rosettes, while their southern African brethren have square rosettes. Leopards are also noticeably bulkier looking than cheetahs. They're not built for speed, but surprise attacks. The extra strength helps leopards drag their prey up trees, where hide the kill to feed on at their leisure. Leopards walk using their legs in diagonal pairs (i.e. left front and right back leg, then right front and left back leg). Like the rest of the big cats, leopards can roar but can't purr except while they're exhaling.
Cheetah and leopard print
Quick difference between cheetah and leopard
- Leopards have rosette-shaped spots. Cheetahs have solid round, or oval, spots.
- Leopards have no “tear” line. Cheetahs have a black “tear” line running from the inside of the eye to the mouth.
- Leopards are bulkier and stronger. Cheetahs are lighter, but taller, than leopards.
- Leopards have a familiar “cat” shape. Cheetahs are lankier than the “cat” shape.
- Leopards hunt at night. Cheetahs hunt during the day.
- Leopards like to drag prey up trees. Cheetahs prefer grassy plains.
- Leopards rely on stealth. Cheetahs rely on speed (up to 113 km/hr) over short distances. They are the world’s fastest animal.
- Leopards have strong teeth and jaws and can crunch through thick bones.
- Cheetahs have smaller teeth and jaws, leaving a larger nasal cavity for rapid breathing. They cannot crunch large bones.
- Leopards live a solitary life while cheetahs are more social (mother and cubs; males sometimes form coalitions, yet they never mix with females; except during reproduction).
- Leopards climb trees for they have retractile claws while cheetahs don’t.
- The cheetah can run at a speed of 113 km/hr while leopards do 60 km/hr.
- The two black lines below the cheetah eyes are known as tear marks, and act as reflection absorbers while they are hunting during sunny days.
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