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|
|It has a thinner, streamlined body
||It has a stocky and muscular build
|Flat, rudder-like tail
|Clear black, spots on the coat
||Rosette-like markings on the coat
|Black, tear-like facial marking
||No such marking
|Claws don’t retract. Gives grip at high speeds
||Claws retract into paws
|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
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.
Animal welfare organizations have introduced cheetah project into different Wildlife Sanctuaries to reintroduction Cheetah back into our country.
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.
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.
Leopards have powerful teeth and jaws that can crunch thick bone. Cheetahs have smaller jaws, teeth with a larger nasal cavity for rapid breathing.
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