Animals

Difference between Tiger and Leopard

Main difference

The main difference between the tiger and the leopard is that the tiger has dark striped fur with an orange or white background, while the leopard has dark-spotted or rosette-shaped fur with a yellowish-brown background.

Tiger vs. Leopard

The scientific name for tigers is Panthera tigris; however, the leopard’s scientific name is Panthera pardus. The tiger contains an orange or white background with vertical stripes; on the other hand, the leopard has a yellowish or golden brown background with dark spots or rosettes. According to the cat family, the size of the tiger is greater; comparatively, the size of the leopard is smaller. The weight of the tiger is over 500 pounds, while the weight of a leopard is about 140 pounds. The strength of the leopard is less than the strength of the tiger, as the body structure of the tiger consists of stronger shoulders and legs compared to the leopard.

When the tiger straightens, its length is approximately 6 feet with a 3-foot-long tail; on the other hand, the leopard’s straightened length is over 6.25 feet with a 4.5 foot long tail. The tiger skin print is in the form of black stripes; on the other hand, the leopard skin print is in the form of rosettes or dark spots. The climbing potential of a leopard is greater since its resting points are the treetops, but the climbing ability of tigers is comparatively lower. Tigers have nearly six subspecies, including the Siberian tiger, the Bengal tiger, the South China tiger, the Indochinese tiger, the Sumatran tiger, and the Malay tiger; On the other hand, leopards have almost seven subspecies, including African leopard, Indian leopard, Arabian leopard, Persian leopard,

In the early period, the leopard was considered a cross-breed of lion and panther, thus referring to the mixture of two Greek words “León” (lion) and “Pardos” (panther) for its name; On the other hand, the name of the tiger also comes from the Greek word ‘Tigris’, which means arrow that indicates the speed of a tiger. Leopards are mainly present in sub-Saharan Africa locations and also in China, India, Indochina, and Malaysia, while tigers are present in East and South Asian locations. Dense forests are the habitats in which leopards live, while tigers live in the habitats of deserts, grasslands, forests, and mountains.

The body build of tigers is strong, with long, muscular bodies provided by sturdy, thick legs with heavy, extended tails; however, the body structure of leopards is slim, slender, and long. In the case of the conservation status of tigers, they are considered endangered species; on the other hand, it is estimated that leopards are species that are almost threatened by the scarcity of their natural habitats. Among all the big cat species, the tiger is one of the largest cats in the world, but the leopard is the smallest among the big cat species.

Comparative chart

Tiger Leopard
It is the largest species of all the big cats recognized by its dark striped fur. It is the smallest species of all the big cats recognized by its dark spotted fur and rosettes.
Average size
9-11 feet long 4-7 feet long
Average weight
300 kilograms 90 kilograms
Maximum speed
49 – 65 km / h 58 kilometers per hour
Life expectancy
16 to 18 years 12 to 17 years
Dam
Amber deer, wild boar, water buffalo, antelope Deer, Warthog, Rodents
Background body color
Reddish orange Yellowish brown or gold
Skin print
Black vertical stripes Rosettes and dark spots
Number of species
6 7
Location
East and South Asia. Southern Asia and Southern Saharan Africa
Habitat
Dense forest Forests, grasslands, mountains and deserts
State of conservation
In danger of extinction Threatened
Body type
Muscled body Skinny body
Scientific name
Panthera tigris Panthera pardus
Tail length
3ft 4.5 feet

What is Tiger?

Among all the big cats, the tiger is the largest in the world and its scientific name is Panthera tigris. They are strong animals that have a muscular body structure provided by sturdy, thick legs with extended, heavy tails. This slaughter machine has the ability to jump up to 4-5 meters in height and jump over 9 meters in length. Tigers have six subspecies, including the Siberian tiger, the Bengal tiger, the South China tiger, the Indochinese tiger, the Sumatran tiger, and the Malay tiger. The subspecies resemble each other; however, they do have a slight difference in their body structure, size, thickness and color of their fur.

They are identifiable by their dark vertical stripes with a reddish-orange background coat. Tigers are the best hunters who prefer to hunt ungulates like wild boar. However, they are generally areal and solitary, and the adjacent large habitats are indispensable for social predators, as they fulfill their prey requirements and take care of their cubs. Meanwhile, the tiger cubs do not grow and become independent; they remain in their mother’s guardian unless they are able to leave their home territory to administer theirs.

Among the charismatic megafauna, a tiger is the world’s most popular and recognized animal that features ancient folk tales and also appears in current media, movies, literature, and appears on most coats of arms, flags, and mascots. of sports teams. It is also the national animal of countries such as India, Bangladesh, South Korea, Malaysia, and India.

White tigers also exist among tigers that have black striped fur on vivid white fur. White tigers are produced by transmutation; therefore, they have a rare existence in the wild. The origin of tigers is South and East Asia, and their preference for habitat is dense forest. The qualities of tigers are excellent climbers, hunters, swimmers and jumpers. The average length of tigers is about 9-11 feet long and the average weight is over 300kg. The conservation status of tigers is an endangered species.

What is the leopard?

The leopard is a distinct species of small-sized wild cat that is native to sub-Saharan Africa and Asia. It belongs to the ‘Felidae’ family of a large feline, and Panthera pardus is the scientific name for the leopard. It has almost seven subspecies, including African leopard, Indian leopard, Arabian leopard, Persian leopard, North China leopard, Amur leopard, Indochinese leopard. The leopard’s body structure is a long, slender body along with a large skull, short, solid legs, and an extended tail that provides balance in the trees.

The coloration and markings of leopards depend on their habitat. They have dense yellowish-brown fur marked with rosettes that provide camouflage from the surrounding environment. They are very agile, strong, muscular and opportunistic hunters and climbers. They have retractable claws that can draw skin folds from legs. Leopards adapt to various types of habitats, including rainforests, deserts, mountains, and wooded savannas. They have a solitary, nocturnal lifestyle with powerful hearing, eyesight, and sensitive whiskers that help them hunt at night. Leopards are unique among felines in that they depend on getting close enough to their prey before attacking it.

Leopard cubs follow their mother between 6 and 8 weeks of age, are weaned at three months, and remain with their mother for another 18 months until they establish their territories. The average length of an adult leopard is 4 to 7 feet long and the average weight is over 90 kg. Leopards mainly hunt mammals such as deer and wild boar; however, they also eat small prey, such as birds, reptiles, and rodents, even dung beetles.

Its characteristics include a whitish belly with a short ringed tail compared to its body and rounded pupils. Leopards are yellowish to ocher, reddish brown and pale cream in color that live in dry locations, and some have a deeper, darker gold color that lives in mountains and forests. However, they do have a grayish coat that is likely to grow longer in cold regions. The lower legs and belly of leopards are white as the spots fade on those parts of the body.

Key differences

  1. The average length of adult tigers is up to 9-11 feet long; on the other hand, the average length of leopards is over 4 to 7 feet long.
  2. The largest species among all big cats is a tiger with an average weight of 300 kilograms, while the smallest species among all big cats is a leopard with an average weight of 90 kilograms.
  3. Tigers have an orange or white background with vertical stripes, while leopard has a yellowish brown or gold background with dark spots or rosettes.
  4. The number of subspecies of tigers is six, on the contrary in the case of leopards, the number of subspecies is 7.
  5. Tigers are associated with the southern and eastern regions of Asia; on the other hand, leopards are associated with the sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia regions.
  6. Tigers adapt to live in habitats like dense forests, but leopards adapt to live in habitats like grasslands, mountains, deserts, and forests.
  7. The conservation status of the tiger is an endangered species; however, the tiger’s conservation status is threatened.
  8. The body build of tigers is strong, with long, muscular bodies provided by sturdy, thick legs with heavy, extended tails; on the other hand, the body structure of leopards is slim, slender and long.

Final Thought

Both tigers and leopards belong to the big cat family; however, they differ in their body structures, size, and location. Among the big cat family, tigers are the largest species with orange fur along with vertical stripes and muscular bodies, while leopards are the smallest species with yellowish-brown fur along with rosettes and slender bodies.

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