Difference Between A Leopard And A Cheetah
To the casual observer Leopard and Cheetah seems to be close cousins or even the same species of cat. But there are many important differences between Leopard and cheetahs in terms of their habitat, diet, hunting style, structure and sounds.
Cheetahs thrive at the African and Southwestern Asia’s plains. Historically, their origin comes from India however no recent inspections have cleared this idea. The current population is geographically scattered.
Leopard live mainly in grasslands and the woodland areas, but they can also be found around the desert regions and marginal mountain areas. Their presence stretches from Africa to South East China, with varying degrees of population density.
Cheetahs have a predatory nature. They hunt down 30-40 pounds heavy animals like Gazelle and Impala. It can also consume rabbits and some birds.
Leopards too are predators by instinct. However they hunt down smaller and lighter animals like medium-sized grazers, Gazelle and deeply tufted deer. But if eating becomes important than they can also feed on amphibians and beetles as a source of food.
Style of hunting
Cheetahs are popular for being the fastest predators on earth. Their body is built for speed. Their hunting routine is carried out during the day as they can see it better. During the chase cheetahs run as fast as 60 mph in short and quick intervals. They kill their prey by suffocating it once they have locked their teeth on its throat. Some cheetahs live in an isolated way however they mostly thrive in groups and hunt in groups too.
Leopards on the other hand stalk their food and quietly catch it. Leopards prefer to drag their prey up a tree and then feed there. They live a solitary existence and are nocturnal by nature.
Morphology or structure:
The physical built of cheetahs is very different from other large cats. They have a very long and slender body along with thin, muscular, long legs. They have a small head and their tails are long, thin and flat in proportion to their body so as to work out their quick movements. Cheetahs have their outer coat of bold spots and a black line extending from their eyes that helps in improving long distance vision.
Leopards on the other hand have a bulkier and thicker body which is more like the other big cats. Their legs are short and they can quickly climb trees. The jaws of a leopard are very sharp and strong so that they can crush the bones of their prey. Leopard has spots over its fur that is Rosette-shaped and white half-moons under the eyes to help night vision.
Cheetah is the only big cats that cannot make a roaring sound. Instead they make a variety of other sounds, including templates, chirping and growling.
Leopards take out a sound that is classified as a roar or growl. It’s like a lion but less strong.