NaturePunk's avatar

Jaguar Vs. Leopard

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By NaturePunk   |   
Published:
© 2011 - 2020 NaturePunk
I see a LOT of people on DA mixing up their big cats. But, naturally, the two most common cats to be confused by are the leopard and the jaguar.

So I made this.

Jaguars have a central spot inside their rosettes. They're also stalkier in build, have a broader skull, and a wider jaw. Their fur is short and coarse, and despite being similar in size, they usually weigh far more than their smaller African cousins.

Feel free to use this image for educational purposes and reference. I'm honestly surprised that more people don't care to know the difference between these two cats.
Image size
3000x2979px 1.48 MB
Comments145
anonymous's avatar
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Ennaz's avatar
EnnazStudent Digital Artist
i like this
Thunderblast547's avatar
My favorite animal is a leopard, even if Jaguars are far more powerful. What I love is the grace and beauty of the leopard. Jaguars don't look quite so amazing in my eyes. But, I can see why you feel that way. 
Xogroroth's avatar
Not to mention: the jaguar far outmatches his african cousin.
They have a bite that can crack a skull (their primary attack form) where the leopard chokes his prey.
The jaguar is like the tiger a darned good swimmer, and enjoys a good bath.
THE most majestic of all cats.
azurakittyartist's avatar
azurakittyartistStudent Digital Artist
i am of brazil,and a see a jaguar in the zoo of my city
Gatt-chan's avatar
Gatt-chanProfessional Digital Artist
you know, it really IS easy to mix up these two! I couldn't tell the diference before, size fact aside, since there's no pictures to compare them! thanks for doing this guide, it helped alot
shannor's avatar
shannorHobbyist General Artist
Nice simple guide. I like it. I love the reference for the spot patterns on the coats, I'll be coming back to this again at a later date just for that.

What's really tricky is IDing melanistic leopards and jaguars. I noticed in an episode of Angel that the melanistic big cat they had in one scene would have been almost impossible to ID unless you really knew your stuff. It was so melanistic that in the light conditions it was filmed in, you couldn't see the spot patterns in the coat. My judgement is that it was a leopard - unless it was a young jaguar (doubtful), it was too slim and slinky for a jaguar.
SapphireSquire's avatar
SapphireSquireHobbyist General Artist
I'm so glad I found this. Just a few days ago I was talking to my sister and I was like "What's the difference? Isn't a jaguar just like a South American leopard?" To which she responded "No." and now I know. :D
TheFailedDream's avatar
TheFailedDreamHobbyist General Artist
Thanks :D
00BlacKBerrY00's avatar
00BlacKBerrY00Hobbyist General Artist
But, it's probably because of their name: we call the cheetah ''ghepard'' and the leopard ''pantera'' but you'll find more people using the word ''leopard''. So it's easy to mix them if you haven't read about these animals or seen a cheetah at the zoo in your enthire life :l
00BlacKBerrY00's avatar
00BlacKBerrY00Hobbyist General Artist
You should do one with cheetahs and leopards too. People also mix them although, for me, it's like confusing a tiger with a lion :I
Daughter-Of-Wolves's avatar
Daughter-Of-WolvesHobbyist General Artist
I'm actually in the starting phases of a jaguar comic.

I agree it's annoying when people mix them up.


(also jaguar's have smaller ears)
mr3dots's avatar
mr3dotsProfessional General Artist
Great at-a-glance stock photo!! Love Jaguars
Blood-stalker's avatar
Blood-stalkerHobbyist General Artist
Mixing up jaguars and leopards atleast makes a smidgen of sense but oh my god, you would not believe how many times I have seen people mix up a lion and a tiger. What the heck? They don't even look remotely the same!

And of course the whole cheetah-leopard thing I see alot too. Another animal that's always getting confused with another is the African Wild Dog. It always irks me when people call it a hyena. Honestly people. Next you're going to be telling your kids that giraffes have awesome black-and-white stripes and zebras have amazingly long necks.
SilviaTheCaralioness's avatar
SilviaTheCaralionessHobbyist General Artist
I can begrudgingly get over people confusing leopards and cheetahs for each other but I was at the zoo recently and people kept calling the jaguar there a cheetah.  Like what the hell? They are probably the most dissimilar of felines when it comes to shape.  Even my mom knew that was wrong. 
GilPires's avatar
Thumbs Up this is realy good ;D
wolfangel28's avatar
Thank you! I could never remember which had the rosettes
The13thBlackCat's avatar
Jaguar/leopard mistakes I can more or less sort of understand, even though it seems blatantly obvious to me which is which. No, what gets me is people who somehow mislabel CHEETAHS as leopards. I mean, I know not everyone is a big cat expert, but...what?
eliguy666's avatar
eliguy666Student Digital Artist
I used to get pissed at people for mistaking them ALL THE TIME. I was obsessed with jaguars when I was about 6.
NeoTiamat99's avatar
This is very, very useful. Thank you!
NaturePunk's avatar
NaturePunkProfessional Artisan Crafter
Sure thing! Glad I could help.
nikki12366sComix's avatar
nikki12366sComixStudent Artisan Crafter
GO JAGUARS!!!!
bambi-nymph18's avatar
Thanks A LOT for making this, I really needed something I could look directly at to see the comparison instead of scrolling up and down, etc...
frankgtrs's avatar
frankgtrsStudent Interface Designer
i never mix them up, just looking at their heads is enough
abbyann1's avatar
abbyann1Hobbyist Photographer
Also, the amount of people who dont know the difference between leopards and cheetahs is astounding! Living in America, but being from South Africa makes me OCD about this.. No, Nordstrom, that's not a cheetah print cardigan, it's leopard print.. *sigh*
anonymous's avatar
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