SPOT the difference: leopards and cheetahs

People often think that both cheetahs and leopards have spots. Strictly speaking that’s not true. The leopard has rosettes on most of ┬áits body, small splashes of black and deep orange, whereas the cheetah has the spots.

A male leopard, showing the rosettes that cover its body.
A male cheetah, covered in solid, black spots.

 

You can also see from their build what they are designed to do. The leopard kills by stealth, stalking its prey, striking with a short, fast burst and then often dragging its kill into a tree to protect it from other scavengers such as hyenas.

The cheetah is build for speed. Thin and sleek, it’s designed to unleash its acceleration to run down its prey. It will then feed immediately before other predators arrive to steal it.

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