Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah

Generally, cheetahs have a more slender build as they kill their prey by chasing them down. Being the fastest land animal on earth, the cheetah needs to have a slender build so as to be streamlined and more efficient at running. A leopard, on the other hand, has a more muscular build. They are ambush predators: meaning they stalk their prey and pounce on them when they are within attacking range. The tail of the cheetah is quite flat and it acts as a rudder on an aeroplane. They help in cornering and changing directions at speeds of over 80 km/h. The Leopard’s tail is more stocky and tubular. It acts like counterweight and helps the animal climb trees and to drag their kill up a tree. The other obvious difference is in their coats. Cheetahs have clear black spots all over its body and a leopard has an irregular, rose-shaped spots called rosettes on its body. Also, cheetahs have black, tear-like streaks that run from the corner of its eyes all the way down to its cheeks. These are theorized to help absorb blinding sunlight and reduce glare in the intense heat of the Saharan Africa. These spots are completely absent on the leopard’s face.

Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah

The animal kingdom has innumerable organisms under its massive tree. And there are many organisms that share the same features as other organisms. Sometimes, this leads to confusion between the different species. Similarly, the difference between Leopard and Cheetah are quite inconspicuous because they possess the same body layout and similar markings on their body.

Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah
Cheetah Leopard
It has a thinner, streamlined body

Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah

It has a stocky and muscular build

Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah

Flat, rudder-like tail

Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah

Tubular tail

Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah

Clear black, spots on the coat

Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah

Rosette-like markings on the coat

Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah

Black, tear-like facial marking

Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah

No such marking

Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah

Claws don’t retract. Gives grip at high speeds

Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah

Claws retract into paws

Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah

Pursuit predators Ambush predators

These are the major difference which can be used to easily tell the difference between leopard and cheetah.

Some interesting facts about  Leopard and Cheetah

Fact- 1

Both Cheetah and Leopards are the members of the Felidae family. Cheetah is mainly found in Africa, savannah grasslands and only a few parts of Iran. Leopards are the most widespread wildlife found in most habitats, from dense woodlands, mountains and desert regions.

Fact- 2

Animal welfare organizations have introduced cheetah project into different Wildlife Sanctuaries to reintroduction Cheetah back into our country.

Fact- 3

Leopards hunt at night and live a solitary life, while Cheetahs hunt during the day time and are very social. Cheetahs are fast runners and can run at a speed of 110-115 km/h while leopards can run at a speed of 50- 60 km/h.

Fact- 4

Compared to Cheetahs, Leopards are very good tree climbers, as they can easily climb up with the help of their retractile claws while cheetahs cannot.

Fact- 5

Leopards have powerful teeth and jaws that can crunch thick bone. Cheetahs have smaller jaws, teeth with a larger nasal cavity for rapid breathing.

Stay tuned with BYJU’S to know more differences between leopard and cheetah and other interesting topics @ BYJU’S Biology


Practise This Question

Which of the following is the correct order of spermatogenesis?