The animal kingdom comprises of countless organisms. Similarly, there are many animals which resemble each other in some ways. Thus, it leads to a lot of confusion between different species. If we casually observe them, a leopard and cheetah might appear to be close cousins or at least the same species of cat. As they have the same body layout and also similar markings on their body, the differences between them become inconspicuous. Nonetheless, there is a lot of difference between leopard and cheetah in a lot of aspects. For instance, their habitat, hunting style, vocalization, diet and more are quite distinct.
Definition of Leopard
Leopards are largely solitary cats having a fawn or brown coat with black spots. They are found mostly in woodlands and grasslands in areas of Africa to South-Eastern China. However, they can also thrive in Marginal Mountain and desert habitats. They are carnivorous animals which like to prey upon grazing animals like gazelles and tufted deer. Although, you will learn that they can eat anything from dung beetles to amphibians. Moreover, they are known to silently stalk and pounce on their prey. Similar to Cheetahs, they strangle their prey with a bite to their beck. Most importantly, leopards are nocturnal hunters.
Definition of Cheetah
Cheetahs are large slender spotted cats. They mostly inhabit the level plains of Africa and Southwestern Asia. Historically, they were also found in India, however, they have not been sighted there in recent times. They are carnivorous animals that prefer grazing animals which weigh approximately 30-40 pounds like gazelles and impalas. In addition, they also prey on hares and birds as well. Further, cheetahs are built for speed. After that, you will learn how they hunt during the day and use their sense of sight for tracking their prey. They can chase at speeds exceeding 60mph for short bursts. Sometimes, they live alone but more than often, they hunt in groups of two or three.
Difference between Leopard and Cheetah
Important Difference between Leopard and Cheetah
|Basis of Comparison||Leopard||Cheetah|
|Definition||Large solitary cats.||Large slender spotted cats.|
|Body||Stocky and muscular build||Thinner, streamlined body|
|Spots||Rosette-shaped spots||Solid round or oval spots|
|Facial marking||No facial markings||Black tear line|
|Tail||Tubular tail||Flat, rudder-like tail|
|Hunting||Hunt at night||Hunt during the day|
|Teeth||Strong teeth and jaws, easily crunch through bones||Smaller teeth and jaws, cannot crunch large bones|
|Speed||Run at a speed of 60 km/h||Run at a speed of 113 km/h|
|Lifestyle||Solitary life||Social life|
|Predator||Ambush predators||Pursuit predators|
|Life Expectancy||Leopards live between 12 and 17 years in the wild, 21 years in captivity||Cheetahs live between 8 and 10 years in the wild and 17 years in captivity|
More details about Leopard
Leopards have a bulkier body which is in a more traditional cat shape. Moreover, you will notice their legs being proportionally short and paws being wide. This helps them in climbing trees.
Moreover, the white half-moons under their eyes help in night vision. Further, leopards make a sound which we classify as a roar or a growl. It resembles that of a lion but not that loud.
More details about Cheetah
Cheetahs are not shaped commonly, as in, different from other big cats of their own genus. Moreover, their bodies are more rangy greyhound-like. The black tear lines that extend from their eyes to their mouth’s corners helps in seeing long distances.
Most importantly, they are the only big cats who are not able to roar. Instead of that, they produce a variety of sounds like growling, purring and chirping. They have smaller heads in proportion to their bodies for streamlining during running.
FAQs about Leopard and Cheetah
Question 1: What are the characteristics traits of leopards?
Answer 1: Leopards are solitary carts and mostly nocturnal. They are quite agile and powerful swimmers. They mostly hunt between sunset and sunshine.
Question 2: State one difference between leopard and cheetah.
Answer 2: Cheetahs can typically live between 8 to 10 years in the while and 17 years in captivity. On the other hand, leopards live typically between 12 to 17 years and up to 21 years in captivity.