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Spot the Differences Between Leopards, Jaguars, and Cheetahs

Spot the Difference — Is It a Leopard, Jaguar, or Cheetah?


Source: Flickr user macjewell

A leopard by any other name would still look as sweet . . . but it wouldn't technically be a leopard. You see, even though some people call out these big cat species interchangeably, there is actually quite a difference among their spots. Take a look below at photos of each, and then try to ace our big cats quiz!

  • Cheetah: (Scientific name: Acinonyx jubatus) No rosettes here, the Cheetahs have solid, evenly distributed spots.

  • Source: Flickr user tambako

  • Leopard: (Scientific name: Panthera pardus) These cats have a pattern that looks flower like — called rosettes — in large numbers with a slightly different color inside.

  • Source: Flickr user macjewell

  • Jaguar: (Scientific name: Panthera onca) Jaguars' markings also include rosetted dots but they sometimes have spots in the center as well as a darker, thicker outline. Typically, there are larger rosettes in smaller numbers on this species.

  • Source: Flickr user tambako

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