Cheetah Vs Jaguar: Land Animal Differences Simplified For Kids! | Kidadl


Cheetah Vs Jaguar: Land Animal Differences Simplified For Kids!

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While both cheetah and jaguar share a similar physical appearance, there are ways you can easily distinguish between the two predator cats.

Cheetahs and jaguars are different species hailing from the same family, Felidae. The Felidae family contains 37 cat species such as lions, tigers, leopards, pumas, domestic cats, and lynx.

Most of these carnivore cats have different patterns on their bodies, but few species don't have any characteristic patterns. For example, a puma has a solid coat. These patterns are crucial and serve as camouflage against both predators and prey in open grasslands. The prominent patterns witnessed in these animals are spots, rosettes, and stripes.

Cheetahs have black spots all over their bodies. Jaguars have a fancy arrangement of rosettes (irregular black circles with black spots in the center) on their coat.

The jaguar coat bears a heavy resemblance to that of the African or Asian leopard. The only difference is that leopards don't have black spots in the center. Tigers have vertical brown or black stripes that help them blend with trees and tall grasses. Apart from these minute physical differences between cheetahs and jaguars, there are other features like habitat, hunting style, speed, prey, and others that make both animals unique.

Continue reading further to know more! You might also like to read articles on cheetah vs leopard and biggest eagle in the world.

Can a cheetah kill a jaguar?

Cheetahs (scientifically known as Acinonyx jubatus) have a small and slender physique compared to the muscular and stocky build of a jaguar (Panthera onca). Jaguars are the third-largest feline mammal after the tiger and the lion. This slender physique helps cheetahs easily run at a speed of 74.5 mph (120 kph). The average speed of jaguars is 49.7 mph (80 kph).

The big cat jaguar is not faster than a cheetah. While cheetahs are the fastest land animal, jaguars are considered the strongest in terms of jaw strength. Jaguars can easily crush the hard shells of turtles and even the hardy skin of crocodiles!

If a jaguar and cheetah were to have a one-on-one fight, it is most likely that a jaguar will win. Though, this fight is not likely to happen because they have different habitats.

Cheetahs prefer open grasslands with bushy grasses. These habitats make it easier for them to stalk and catch their prey. Cheetahs were once native to most parts of Asia and South Africa. But today, they are primarily found in parts of South and East Africa. Fewer populations of cheetahs are also found in Iran and North Africa. This feline is considered endangered and is on the brink of extinction.

Jaguars can live in a range of habitats from tropical forests and mixed-conifer forests to swamps, river valleys, and open grasslands. They are found mainly in parts of North, South, and Central America. The jaguar population is considered Near Threatened due to habitat loss.

Are jaguar and cheetah the same?

A jaguar (Panthera onca) and cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) are not the same animals. They are different species, belonging to the same family of Felidae.

They appear near-identical to each other, but the key difference lies in the pattern of their coat. Jaguars have a black rosette-shaped pattern, and cheetahs have solid black spots resembling a round or oval shape.

There are also notable differences in the color of their coat and size. The color of the cheetah's upper coat fur range from golden-yellow to a light tan to even grayish-white. Their undercoat has a light color range, and it can be a paler shade of their upper coat or white.

On the other hand, big cats like jaguars have pale yellow to orange-brown fur with large black rosettes. There are also melanistic (all black fur) and albino (all white fur) coats found on both species.

Most animals of the Felidae family have larger males and smaller females. Adult Acinonyx jubatus or cheetah has an average body length of 3.9-4.9 ft (120-150 cm), and their tail length varies between 1.9-2.6 ft (60-80 cm). The weight of an adult cheetah can range anywhere from 46-158 lb (20.9-71.7 kg). The cheetah has a smaller head with black tear markings. Their slender figure helps in maintaining their fast speed and easy movement while hunting.

Panthera onca, or jaguar, has a more muscular build than a cheetah or a leopard. Jaguar is the third-largest animal of the Felidae family after the tiger and the lion. Jaguars can grow 5.2-5.9 ft (160-180 cm) in length, and their tail can reach a length of 1.9-2.9 ft (60-90 cm). The average weight of a jaguar is 80 lb (36.3 kg). Bigger jaguars can weigh up to 333 lb (151 kg).

The average lifespan of a jaguar is 12-15 years, and for a cheetah, it is 10-12 years. A cheetah gives birth to a litter of three to five cubs, and jaguars can give birth to a litter of two to four babies. There is no breeding season for either animal. They can mate and reproduce any time of the year.

A Jaguar relaxing on a tree trunk.

Who's the deadliest big cat?

Jaguars are the third-largest feline mammal in the Felidae family. It is only natural that jaguars would be considered the deadliest big cat with an impressive bite-force of 200 lb per sq in (13.8 bar).

They are great at hunting and can kill prey twice or thrice their weight with a sharp bite on the head, at the back of the skull behind the ears. Most wild animals go for the neck or throat while hunting for prey since it ensures a successful kill. But a jaguar's jaw strength makes them impressive skull-crushers.

Do cheetahs and jaguars hunt at the same time in a day?

Both cheetahs and jaguars are apex predators, but they do not live in the same habitat or place. They do not hunt at the same time in a day.

A cheetah's diet consists of wild animals like gazelles and springbok. They usually hunt during dusk and dawn. Cheetahs rely on their fast speed while on a hunt. They also like to climb trees, and many even bring their prey to the tree to eat.

Jaguars like to hunt at night. The dark environment conceals their presence from the prey. Their diet consists of fish, birds, deer, gazelles, and monkeys.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for Cheetah vs jaguar: land animal differences simplified for kids, then why not take a look at Beetle bite saga: interesting facts on insects bites for kids or jaguar facts?

Written By
Aarushi Kapoor

<p>Bringing creativity and strong writing skills to the team, Aarushi is a literature enthusiast with a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Vivekananda Institute of Professional Studies. Her love for reading and writing poetry and prose is reflected in her work, adding depth and emotion to the content she creates. Aarushi values her free time and enjoys spending it in quiet contemplation.</p>

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