Difference Between Cheetah and Jaguar

Main Difference

The main difference between cheetah and Jaguar is of their body pattern. Cheetah is tan in color with black spots all over the body, and Jaguar has a large pattern of rosette shape along the side and back of the body.

Cheetah vs. Jaguar

Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is the big wild cat. It is the fastest land animal. It lives on the Southern part of the African continent and a few places in Iran. Jaguar (Panthera onca) is the largest cat living only on the American continent. Cheetah is the only big wild cat that cannot roar. It is very fast that it can go from 0-60 miles per hour in three seconds. After the tiger and lion, The jaguar is the third-largest living feline species. It is also the largest feline in the Americas. The Jaguars are well-muscled and compact animals. Cheetah is tan and has black dots on its whole body. These dots get a little bit bigger on its back legs. The color of the Cheetah is more evenly distributed. It has two sharp tear shape black lines on its face, from eyes to mouth. It has a dotted pattern on its body. Jaguar has rosette type marks on its body. These marks are bigger and have small black dots in them. The skin color of Jaguar is the same in between and outside the pattern. Cheetah has a very flexible build, with long legs, body, and tail. Jaguar has large, muscular felines and short, strong legs. Cheetahs cannot climb trees. It has a poor night vision. The amazing fact about the cheetah is that it only need to drink once every three to four days. Jaguar is thick, powerful, and stocky in build. Jaguars hunt individually, springing from trees upon capybaras, tapirs, and peccaries.

Comparison Chart

CheetahJaguar
A large animal with black spots all over the bodyThe largest feline with the large rosette-shaped pattern along the side and back of the body
Scientific Name
Acinonyx jubatusPanthera onca
Powerful
LessMore
Speed
MoreLess
Build
Tall, slender, with a small headLarge muscular, have short, strong legs

What is Cheetah?

Cheetah, scientifically, Acinonyx jubatus is the big wild cat. It has a rangy greyhound-like thinner body frame with a deep chest and narrow waist. It has solid, round, polka-type black spots measuring 2 to 3 cm (0.79 to 1.2 in) across the body. The tail of cheetah ends in a bushy white tuft, with spots margin form four to six dark rings at the end. Cheetah has a small head as compared to its body to streamline its running. Its eyes are set high on the skull. It has black tear lines running from the corner of both eyes down the sides of the nose to its mouth. Though cheetah is the champion of speed, at the same time, it lacks the claw-grip. This also makes cheetah unable to climb trees. One major thing about the cheetah is its acceleration. It can go from zero to 60 miles/h in just 3 seconds on earth. Cheetah hunts during the day and tracks the prey using its sight. It latches onto the throat of its prey and strangles it. Interestingly, the cheetah can not roar. It makes a very strange sound, which is more like a bird sound rather than an animal sound.

Features

  • 35-72 kg (77 to 160 lb) weight
  • 110-150 cm (43 to 59 in) body length
  • 60-84 cm (24 to 33 in) tail length
  • the fastest running land animal
  • has longer hind legs and suppler spine
  • small ears, and heads
  • tear stripes present
  • can not roar
  • lack the claw-grip
  • poor night vision

What is Jaguar?

Jaguar (Panthera onca) is the third largest feline after tiger and lion. It is the only Panthera species found in the rain forests of South and Central America. Jaguar has the powerful jaws of all felids. It can bite down with 2,000 pounds-force (8,900 N) which allows it to pierce turtle shells. Jaguar bites directly through the skull of its prey between the ears. Jaguar’s average speed is 70-80 km/h. It can sustain its speed for a longer period. It has a stealth body shape that helps in grabbing the prey. Jaguar can also hunt in the water. Jaguar can roar, but their roar is not as dashing as lions. The rosettes on jaguar vary over individual coats and between individual animals. It may include one or several dots, and even the shapes of dots vary. These rosettes have a black spot in the center, separated from the out ring by the yellow ground color of the jaguar. The spots on the neck and head of the jaguar are generally solid, as are those on the tail. Jaguar has a rounder head and shorter, stockier limbs. This shape mak it adept at crawling, climbing and swimming. The population of jaguars is rapidly decaying. They are classified as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature(IUCN).

Features

  • 56–96 kilos (124–211 lb) weight
  • 2-1.95 m (3.9 to 6.4 ft) length
  • 45-75 cm (18 to 30 in) tail length
  • 500 voluntary muscles
  • Tawny yellow base coat
  • powerful, strong jaws

Key Differences

  1. Cheetah is tan in color with black spots all over the body, whereas Jaguar has a large pattern of rosette along the side and back of the body.
  2. The scientific name of the cheetah is Acinonyx jubatus while the scientific name of the jaguar is Panthera onca.
  3. Cheetah lives on the Southern part of the African continent, and a few places in Iran conversely jaguar lives only on the American continent.
  4. Cheetah is tan and has black dots on its whole body on the flip side. Jaguar has rosette type marks on its body. These marks are bigger and have small black dots in them.
  5. Cheetah has a very flexible build, with long legs, body, and tail; on the other hand, Jaguar has large, muscular felines and short, strong legs.

Conclusion

Cheetah and Jaguar are big wild cats belonging to the same family Felidae. But both are different from each other in their features.

Aimie Carlson

Aimie Carlson is an English language enthusiast who loves writing and has a master degree in English literature. Follow her on Twitter at @AimieCarlson

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