Forum > Wildlife > Common Doubts

Posted by Pranay Rai on February 21, 2016

 

1) The difference between a Leopard, a Jaguar, a Cheetah and a Panther. Are they all the same as the people tend to think?
-Certainly No, they aren’t the same. Here’s the difference:

Leopard:
Scientific Name: Panthera Pardus;
The leopard is the smallest of the four ‘big cats’ in the ‘Panthera’ family, along with tigers, lions and jaguars.
Differentiating Characteristic: They look similar to the jaguar, however they are smaller and lighter and the fur patterning is slightly different; on a leopard, the ‘rosettes’ (circular markings) are smaller and are more closely spaced, and don’t usually have the black spots in the center of the rosettes like jaguars do. Leopards rosette pattern and overall color can vary slightly, however, depending on where they live.

Jaguar:
Scientific Name: Panthera Onca;
Differentiating Characteristics: The jaguar is often confused with the leopard due to the markings on the coat. Jaguars are, however, heavier, larger and sturdier than leopards, and the ‘rosettes’ on their patterning are larger, less closely packed, and usually have black dots in the centers.

Cheetah:
Scientific Name: Accinonyx Jubatus
Differentiating Characteristic: The fur is short and coarse, and has a pattern of evenly spaced black spots.

Panther:
There is no actual species called the panther, however ‘panther’ is a name given to either leopards or jaguars which are black in color due to an excess of the dark pigment melanin. They can also be referred to as melanistic leopards/melanistic jaguars.
The coat is almost completely black, however sometimes the rosette markings can just be seen if you look closely

2) What is the difference between a Crocodile and an Alligator?
A Crocodile has a V-shaped snout while an Alligator has a U-shaped, rounder snout.
When a Crocodile closes its mouth, the fourth tooth in its lower jaw can still be seen, which is not seen in an Alligator.

3) Difference between a Tortoise and a Turtle.
Tortoise:
Dwells well on land;
Heavy, dome shaped shells;
Short and sturdy feet with bent legs.
Turtle:
Dwells well in the water;
Mostly flat, streamlined, light-weight shells;
Webbed feet with long claws.


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