Difference Between Leopard and Jaguar

Difference Between Leopard and Jaguar

Leopards and Jaguars both are two different members of the Felidae family. Both of them having similar characteristic features often lead us to mistake one for the other. So what is the difference between Leopard and Jaguar?

For one having knowledge regarding their basic traits like size, fur pattern, etc, they can be differentiated easily. Let's understand it in detail what is the difference between Leopard and Jaguar?

Difference Between Leopard and Jaguar

Leopard Facts

This big cat is one of the most magnificent among the Felidae family.


They can be found in parts of Africa ranging to parts of Asia mostly in India And China. In those parts of the world, they are the smallest of the cat family.


They generally have brown fur with yellowish shade masked with black rosettes. This body pattern helps them in merging with their surroundings and help them in stalking their prey.


Their habitat often includes other big predators which are difficult for them to take down. Knowing this, they are very protective of their territory and hence a little more aggressive towards human intervention.

Body Size

They are beautiful creatures with a slender physique. They are particularly good swimmers but do not like being in the water. An adult leopard weighs approximately 175 pounds which is significantly less than most of the other big felines.


They prey upon small animals like deer, Impala, Gazelle, etc. Being small comes with its benefits. They are very athletic by design. They can easily climb up the trees and are able to catch their prey mid-air.

Jaguar Facts

This robust big cat is one of the most mysterious creatures on the planet.


Jaguars are a lot like leopards. So what is the difference between leopard and Jaguar is mostly their habitat. They reside mostly in South America. Being the only big predators of the feline family in that region makes them the apex beings in that region.


They also normally have yellowish brown skin with black rosettes. Looking closely it can be seen that there are tiny spots present between their rosettes which leopards do not possess. Therefore one of the ways to differentiate them is through these spots. The rosettes are stark black and more defined in the facial region.

Body Size

They weigh from 60 to 90 kg. they are often described as the kings of their territory. They have more muscle mass and the bite strength is seen to be the strongest among all the other big cats. They are solitary beings and unlike lions do not form a pride.

They spend some time with multiple females during the mating season but other than that they do not meddle in each other’s business.


Their prey includes gazette, deer, mongoose, etc. they are even spotted sometimes eating alligators.


Aggressive behavior towards humans is not seen on a general basis mostly because they do not feel very threatened by us. Unlike the leopards they love swimming. Many of the times, they can be found soaking or swimming in the streams or small lakes.

This allows them to increase their diversity of prey to fishes, alligators, and even anacondas. So now you understand what are some differences between Leopard and Jaguar?

Difference Between Leopard and Jaguar

Leopard vs Jaguar

Taking both of their statistics, they both are very high up in the food chain and are very much alike.

The Jaguars have a big head in comparison to the leopard and the bite force is also higher.

When compared according to the body weight there also the jaguar beats the leopard by a significant margin.

Both the Jaguars and leopards like to hunt alone but the jaguar is more likely to engage in battle with a bigger and dangerous prey.

So in any case, if they were to face off with each other the leopard is more likely to retreat.

But if we were to assume that they engage in battle, with more muscle and jaw strength jaguar is likely to win the match.

People might argue that leopard has the upper hand in speed and agility but the difference in these sills is not very wide in these animals so they hold a little less importance.

It should always be kept in mind that the result of any battle depends upon many variables.

The leopard compared to Jaguar is better at sneaking up on anyone therefore if it was the case and leopard makes the first move and succeeds in dealing fatal damage, the outcome of the battle is likely to change.

Other factors like terrain and climate may also result in the victory of on upon the another.

In the neutral case of conducting the battle in a neutral climate, both of them being in full health and strength, the jaguar is most likely to win.

Black leopard

Black leopard also is widely known as the black panther is a mutated form of a leopard. Melanin pigment is formed in their body which causes them to tone black.

Difference Between Leopard and Jaguar

Sometimes they are seen to be totally black without those rosettes, which is not exactly the case.

Actually,, the rosettes are camouflaged due to the black pigment but make no mistake they are there.

Among the species,, they are not very rare as 11% of all leopards turn out to be black but since the number of these big cats dwindled due to the habitat loss and poaching, therefore, it has become difficult to spot even a single one among the remaining ones.

Once it was thought that they are a totally different species but it proved to be wrong as the only difference between them and regular leopards is their color.

Aside from that, they do not have any other differences.

Black Jaguar

Black jaguar also generally known as black panther have the same mutation. They also have rosettes hidden behind that black color. This trait is genetic.

If the jaguar is pitch black than the genes he had were booth allele.

The Jaguar with a single pair will end up having charcoal black color. In this type, it is easier to spot the pattern on the jaguar.

Rhythm Dhami

A deep-rooted person who has made an investigation of regular history since childhood or so - longer than I can recollect. An interest in wildlife has developed into wonder with all of nature, and an unquenchable interest to take in more..

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