The Difference Between Leopard and Cheetah

Leopard

©Roger de la Harpe
Stocky, powerful build
Large head and skull, strong neck and body
Powerful attacker – master of camouflage for stalking
Prey can be hoisted up trees to evade other predators or scavengers
Feeding commences immediately
Rosettes
No tear-marks
Very adaptable to many habitats and whatever is most common to eat even formidable prey
Solitary males
Scavenge readily
Retractable claws

Cheetah

©Nigel Dennis
Slender, slight build
Small head, long tail, slender waist and long legs
Sprinter lacking strength - catches prey by oxygen starvation through a fast chase and subsequent suffocation
Always feeds on ground usually where the prey falls or in nearby shade, often looses kills to other predators or scavengers
Needs to catch a breath before feeding
Black Spots
Tear-marks down the sides of the nose
Requires open plains for hunting where there are low lion densities. Takes small to medium-sized antelope, never big or dangerous species
Coalitions of males
Fussy eaters, prefer fresh meat
Only semi-retractable claws

By Megan Emmett