Difference between leopard and a cheetah
Leopard vs a Cheetah:
The cheetah and the leopard can seem to be the one and the same to the not so wild life-savy as they both can be seen as the spotted brothers of the same feline family. And yet, this is not so. The leopard and the cheetah are two different creatures who bear some resemblance to each other and yet, a world of differences as well.
What is a leopard?
The leopard is found mostly in areas with annual rainfall above 50 mm, and today, they are seen the most in the sub-Saharan Africa. As the leopard seem to be an animal that is extremely successful at adapting to altered natural habitat and settled environments, they can be seen near many major cities as well. They are known to be the only species which is able to occupy both rainforest and arid desert habitats alike.
The leopards are seen to be shy and isolated creatures who tend to be aggressive, especially when cornered or disturbed. It has an elongated with dark spots on the muzzle and relatively short legs which aid them in climbing trees. Leopards like to ambush their prey from a distance as short as 5-20 yards and pounce on their victim, taking it completely by surprise.
What is a cheetah?
A cheetah largely resembles a large greyhound with a long streamlined body which is supported by long, thin and powerful legs, which enable the animal to conduct its chases with great speed. Cheetahs are known for their speed and are able to easily outrun any animal over short distances. Yet, unlike other large animals of the feline species, the cheetah does not roar. It does however purr or bark and make yelping and barking sounds from time to to time.
Once the cheetahs were a common sight in India, in the Middle East and they extended to the very south of the African continent itself and yet, today, the Asian cheetah which is also known as the A.j.venaticus is almost extinct and can only be found in a few remote areas of Iran and Afghanistan. In Africa as well, cheetahs can only be found in the grass lands and plains of east and central Africa in very small numbers. Therefore, the cheetah has become an extinct species in the world.
Unlike many wild cats, the cheetah hunts by day. It is known to follow its prey from a distance which shall be followed by a chase which is supported by its great speed and agility and will succeed in sinking down his powerful jaws and bring it down by suffocating it.
What is the difference between cheetah and the leopard?
Whereas only female cheetahs are solitary, male cheetahs form coalitions of 2-3 individuals and are not considered as dangerous to man. Yet leopards of both sexes are considered as shy and isolated and are relatively aggressive, especially when they feel threatened.
The body of a cheetah is tall and slender with long, slender yet powerful legs made for the chase whereas the body of a leopard is more muscular and compact with short legs made for climbing trees. as cheetah is built for speed whereas the leopard is built in such a way that enable it to drag its pray up on to trees. A cheetah has a smaller rounded head with distinctive “tear-stains” that run up to the corners of its mouth whereas a leopard has a more elongated head with dark spots on its muzzle. With regards to spots on their skin, a cheetah has small solid black spots whereas a leopard spots are grouped together in small rings on torso and upper limbs.
Also, whereas cheetahs can be a rare sight, leopards are a wide spread lot. Also, these two vary in their hunting tactics as the cheetah prefers to chase after its prey whereas the leopard pounces on its pray from a short distance. Also, a leopard is known to roar and growl whereas a cheetah yelps and chirps.