9 Difference between Leopard and Snow Leopard (With Table)

There are many wild animals kept in zoos and some are just wild. These animals cannot be kept as domestic animals as they have wild characters.

Leopards and snow leopards are some of the wild animals. They are both types of wild cats widely distributed in Africa and Asia.

Leopards inhabit steppes, rainforests, temperate forests, grasslands, semi-arid, and mountain areas. Snow leopards are found in small parts of central and Southern Asia. They live in cold and dry mountains.

So, what is the main difference between leopard and snow leopard? Leopard has light or dark yellow with circular or square-shaped rosettes around light brown spots while snow leopard has soft and thick, white, yellowish, or grey fur with black dot arranged in rosettes around brown spots.

This article is going to give you more differences between leopard and snow leopard in tabular form. You will also get to learn about the similarities between the two.

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Difference between Leopard and Snow Leopard

Comparison Table (Leopard vs. Snow Leopard)

Basic TermsLeopard Snow Leopard
ColoringYellow with black rosettes.Grayish white with black rosettes.
Conservation statusNear-threatened.Endangered.
FurLight or dark yellow fur.It has soft and thick, white, yellowish, or gray fur.
LifestyleIt is active during the night.It is active at dusk and dawn.
What they feed onIt eats medium-sized antelopes, monkeys, reptiles, amphibians, birds, and fish.It eats wild goats and sheep, hare, rodents, and birds.
Body structureIt has a large head, a long body, and relatively short legs.It has a stocky body, long tail, powerful hind legs with large furry paws
ReproductionPregnancy lasts between 90 to 105 days and gives birth to 2 to 4 cubs.Pregnancy lasts between 90 to 103 days and gives birth to 2 to 3 cubs.
SoundsThey communicate through roaring, growling, grunting, purring, and meowing.They communicate through loud hisses, growls, and noisy chuffs.
LifespanLives between 12 to 17 years in the wild and 24 years in captivity.Lives up to 21 years in captivity.

What is Leopard?

Leopard is a wild cat and it belongs to the Felidae family. It has light or dark yellow fur with circular or square-shaped rosettes around light brown spots.

It is mostly found in sub-Saharan Africa and parts of Asia. It has a large head, a long body, and relatively short legs.

They are the strongest climbers among all the cats. They spend much of their time in trees even when stalking for prey and when eating.

Their diet fluctuates with the availability of prey. They feed on strong-scented carrions, fish, reptiles, birds, and amphibians.

They are solitary animals and nocturnal. They are mostly active during the night. Each individual has a home.

Their gestation period takes between 90 to 105 days. They give birth to 2 to 4 cubs. The female takes care of the cubs until they are large enough to accompany their mother.

What is Snow Leopard?

Snow leopard belongs to the Felidae family. It has soft and thick, white, yellowish, or gray fur with black dots arranged in rosettes around brown spots.

It has a stocky body, long tails, and powerful hind legs with large furry paws. Their belly is whitish in color. It has pale green or gray eyes.

The snow leopard has been poached to an extent that it is extinct. It is also threatened by habitat destruction due to infrastructural development.

They are mainly active during dusk and dawn. They majorly feed on goats, sheep, hare, rodents, and birds as they are exclusively carnivores.

Their pregnancy lasts between 90 to 104 days. It gives birth to 2 to 3 cubs and the females take care of the offspring until they are able to accompany their mothers.

During summer, they live above tree lines and in rocky regions at an elevation while during winter it descends, prefers rocky, broken terrain, and uses existing trails made by other animals.

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Main Difference between Leopard and Snow Leopard

  1. Leopard has light or dark yellow fur while snow leopard has soft and thick, white or grayish fur.
  2. Leopards have a large head, long body, and relatively short legs while snow leopards have stocky bodies, long tails, powerful hind legs, and furry paws.
  3. Leopards are nocturnal while snow leopards are active during dusk and dawn.
  4. Leopards are nearly threatened while snow leopards are endangered.
  5. Leopards are yellow with black rosettes while snow leopards are grayish-white with black rosettes.
  6. Leopards feed on medium-sized antelopes, monkeys, amphibians, birds, and fish while snow leopards feed on wild goats and sheep, hare, rodents, and birds.

Similarities between Leopard and Snow Leopard

  1. They both belong to the Felidae family.
  2. Both have black rosettes on their bodies.
  3. Both are carnivores.
  4. Both give birth to live offspring.

Conclusion

Leopards and snow leopards both belong to the family Felidae. They are among the wild cats. They have rosettes on their bodies.

However, the two are different from each other although many people are unable to distinguish the two from each other.

The main difference between leopard and snow leopard is that; leopard has light or dark yellow fur with circular or square-shaped rosettes around brown spots while snow leopard has soft and thick, white, gray fur with black dots arranged in rosettes around the brown dots.

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