How are leopards and jaguars alike?

Panthera pardus live in sub-Saharan and Northeast Africa, Central Asia, India, and China. There are 9 subspecies world wide. However, many of these populations are endangered, especially outside of Africa. Leopards are the 5th largest cat in the world. Leopards are graceful and commanding big cats. They are most comfortable in trees where it often hauls its kills into the branches. By dragging the bodies of large animals aloft it hopes to keep them safe from scavengers such as hyenas.

Panthera Onca lives in the Mexico, Central and South America. Jaguars are the 3rd largest cat in the world and largest cat in the New World. They are muscular, shorter in length and extremely powerful. Unlike many other big cats, apart from man, the jaguar has no rivals - no other predator can compete with this powerful cat. The Jaguar has particularly powerful jaws and often kills its prey by piercing the skull with one swift bite.

In appearance the Jaguar and the Leopard are similar although identification would not be an issue as the cats inhabit different continents. Each cat has brownish/yellow base fur color with distinctive dark markings. The Jaguar can be distinguished by the presence of small dots or irregular shapes within larger rosette markings. Leopards tends to have mostly spots. Both cats are carriers of Melanism allele. This is a genetic mutation in which both Leopards and Jaguars produces Melanistic or black offspring. The black cats are often labeled 'Black Panthers.' For the record, there is no one distinct species of wild cat called a Black Panther.

Both Leopards and Jaguars are good swimmers and at home in the water. Except for breeding, both cats are solitary animals.