People often mistake a cheetah for a leopard due to the similarities in their patterns. However, there is a difference between leopard and cheetah. The difference between a cheetah and a leopard is that one has spots while the other has stripes. The fact that there are two different animals with these specific features is why they are called cats.
A cheetah has black or dark brown spots with yellowish circles or lines. They have a small head, long legs, and long tail. A leopard can have different types of spots, but they are usually irregular-shaped. There are many things that make them poles apart. For example, their diets differ as a leopard is an omnivore whereas a cheetah is a carnivore.
Moreover, cheetahs live in Africa and Asia while leopards live in North America and Asia. Finally, a leopard’s tail is much shorter than that of a cheetah’s. In this article, we will feature the difference between leopard and cheetah to differentiate them.
What is Leopard?
Leopard is a type of cat that has a large, spotted coat. The term “leopard” can refer to any of the four big cats in the genus Pardus, the jaguar, leopard, snow leopard, and tiger. The leopard is the second largest feline, smaller only than the lion. Leopards are native to sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia, and China. They weigh up to 165 pounds and can be more than 7 feet long.
They are most closely related to the jaguar. Leopards have black spots which help them hunt at night or in dense jungles because their prey can’t see them coming. These spots also help the leopard hide from predators during the day. Leopards’ front paws have 5 toes and their back paws have 4 toes. Their fur is spotted with unique patterns on the head, across the body, and down the legs.
Though they are native to Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Yes, these animals are often found in scrubland, grasslands, and forests. They can also be found in urban areas with plenty of trees. The main prey for them are rodents, monkeys, antelope, zebras, wildebeest, warthogs, and antelope. However, they will sometimes eat birds or rodent’s possum or hare.
Male leopards weigh closer to 60-70kg and the females 30-40kg. Leopards live between 12 and 17 years while in captivity, they can live up to 21 years. Leopards comrade all around the year and contain between 2 to 4 cubs.
What is Cheetah?
Cheetahs are the fastest land animal in the world with speeds averaging 75 mph. They are large, fast running, and the agile cats found in Africa and Asia. Cheetahs are not social animals. Females live alone to avoid competition for food and males live solitary lives, which means they only come together during the breeding season.
Cheetahs have incredible eyesight as their vision is so sharp. They can see things that are five miles away. Cheetah has a light tan coat with dark spots that help it keep cool by making it harder for the sun’s rays to reach its skin. They have long, powerful legs and large paws that help them run up to 70 miles per hour.
The African mammals eat mostly small, herbivorous animals such as birds, mice, and even lizards. But they also rely on the grasses of their habitat for sustenance. However, cheetahs have a difficult time with digestion due to the low protein content in their diet. They are able to digest their food very slowly because they have smaller stomachs than other cats.
The weight of a male cheetah is about 54kg and a female about 43kg. Cheetah lives between 8 and 10 years in the wild and up to 17 years in confinement. The animals are likely to breed during dry seasons with cubs born at the beginning of the wet season. The average cheetah has 1 to 3 cubs.
Difference Between Cheetah and Leopard
Cheetahs and leopards are the only big cats to have spots. Both cats are hunted because of their beauty, but they are endangered species. Leopards survive in rainforests, while cheetahs thrive in grasslands. Cheetahs are taller at the shoulder than leopards and stand higher above the ground, but they are far-slenderer animals.
Leopards are bulkier and more robust than cheetahs with weighing up to 100 kg. Leopards are muscular cats than cheetahs using their thrilling strength to stalk and trap prey, then carry their kill-up trees to protect their meal.
Cheetahs have a solid round or elliptical spot shape, visibly separated from the other spots on their body while leopards have slighter, irregular-shaped spots that are grouped together in circles.
Leopards’ face is covered in a continuance of their rosette pattern while the cheetahs are immediately recognizable by the black ‘tear line’ that runs from the inner corner of their eyes down to the sides of their mouths.
Cheetahs are usually solitary creatures except during mating season when they prefer to live in pairs or small groups.