Cheetahs & Leopards


The winner will receive his or her very own safari photograph! (See Student Safari Awards page.) In the event of more than one correct answer, the winner will be chosen at random. 

Can you tell the difference between a cheetah and a leopard? Here are two photographs I took while on safari. Which is the cheetah and which is the leopard?

1. Look at the pictures.

2. Read the hints.

3. Research on the Internet.

4. Vote!

Choose A or B and give your reasons why you think so.



Cheetah hints:

The cheetah is the world's fastest land animal. It can run 70 miles per hour! (That's faster than a car on the freeway going the legal speed limit!)

It's body is built for speed. It has long, slender, muscular legs. It's lankier than the other large cats of the Serengeti. It has a long neck and flexible spine. It has special pads on its feet for traction, and a long tail to help it keep balanced.

Cheetahs can run at full speed for only 100 yards. After that they get overheated. They have to catch their prey quickly or they won't get it at all. Cheetahs are carnivores who hunt during daylight hours.

It has dark brown lines that run from the inside of its eyes, down the side of its nose, to its mouth. These lines help keep sunlight out of the cheetah's eyes while running (just as football players put dark paint under their eyes while playing in the sun). It has black oval spots on its coat. Another interesting fact: It can purr, like other cats, but it can't roar.


Leopard hints:

The leopard has a very athletic body. It's long, flexible, and rather bulky. It has short, strong, powerful legs to allow it to climb trees over 50 feet high. It's a carnivore. It uses its great strength to drag its kill into the bushes or up a tree. They try to hide it from lions and hyenas who will try to steal it if they see it.

The leopard can run up to 36 miles per hour, and it can make a 20-foot leap forward.

Leopards have complex black and brown spotting patterns on their coats called rosettes. Unlike a cheetah, it can roar.

40 thoughts on “Cheetahs & Leopards

    • No, I didn’t see the leopard hunt. We arrived when it was feasting on its prey. I was happy I didn’t see it capture the animal.

  1. genesis
              what do cheetahs do in there fun time like you saw them move around did they do any thing else.   🙂
              Wow,your trip sounds so much fun.I wish I was there.

  2. I wonder if a cheatah came close to a person would it want to eat you? Even if you were to stay still would it still have the erge to eat you or not?

    • The natural habitat of the cheetah and leopard is the savanna. They also like the rocky outcrop areas. We did not go near to any of the animals. They are wild, not tame. Wild animals will run away from a human, or attack.

  3. I think A is the cheetah and B is the leopard. I chose this answer because I saw in the hints that a cheetah has lines going down from the inside of the eye to the nose and to the mouth. When I looked closely at picture A, I saw faint black lines going down it's face.

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