Learn to tell the difference between 7 pairs of commonly confused animals
Do you know how to tell a llama from an alpaca, a frog from a toad, a hawk from a falcon? In fact, the differences between these similar species are surprisingly obvious – let's find out what they are.
#1 Turtle vs. Tortoise
- Habitat: turtles spend most of their time in water, while tortoises are land animals.
- Shell: turtles have flat shells, while the shells of tortoises are dome-shaped. The shell of a tortoise is also much heavier.
- Legs: turtles have claws and webbed feet, while tortoises have bent legs and short and sturdy feet.
- Lifespan: turtles live for 20-40 years on an average, while tortoises can live up to be 150 years old. The oldest tortoise in history is said to have lived to the age of 344.
#2 Leopard vs. Jaguar
- Location: jaguars live in the rainforests of South and North America, while leopards are native to Africa and parts of the Middle East and Asia.
- Rosettes: leopards have small rosettes that are tightly packed. Jaguars' rosettes are larger and contain small spots in the middle.
- Body: leopards weigh less and have slender and longer bodies. Jaguars have a robust build. They have shorter bodies with massive shoulder muscles.
- Tail: leopards have long feline tails, while jaguars' tails are much shorter.
#3 Crocodile vs. Alligator
- Snout: crocodiles have V-shaped pointed snouts, while the alligator's snout is U-shaped and wide.
- Location: crocodiles can be found in Africa, Australia, Southeast Asia, North America, South America, and Central America, while alligators only live in the southeastern US and eastern China.
- Habitat: crocodiles can spend a lot of time (up to several weeks) in saltwater thanks to special glands that help them excrete excess salt from the body. Alligators also have such glands but they are not so well-developed, so they prefer freshwater.
- Teeth: when their mouths are closed, crocodiles can have their teeth of the lower jaw visible. The alligator's lower teeth are always invisible if the mouth is closed.
#4 Frog vs. Toad
- Hind legs: frogs have longer and more powerful legs for jumping. Toads have shorter legs for walking and hopping.
- Eggs: frogs lay eggs in clusters. Toads lay eggs in long chains, some of them give birth to live young. Both frogs' and toads' young live in water.
- Skin: frogs usually have smooth and moist skin, while the toad's skin is usually bumpy and dry. Anyway, there are some frogs with bumpy skin, as well as some toads with smooth skin.
#5 Hawk vs. Falcon
- Wing shape: hawks have wider wings with rounded ends, while the falcon's wings are longer and pointer at the end.
- Flight pattern: due to the form of their wings, hawks flap their wings slowly and glide more often. Falcons, which have slender wings, flap more rapidly. Their periods of gliding are much shorter.
- Head: Hawks' heads are pointed and sleek. Falcons have short and round heads.
#6 Llama vs. Alpaca
- Ears: llamas have longer banana-shaped ears, while alpacas' ears are much shorter.
- Size: llamas can weigh as much as 400 pounds (180 kg), while alpacas usually weigh in at around 150 pounds (70 kg).
- Hair: alpacas have much more hair than llamas do. Unlike llamas, they also have a lot of hair on their head and face. Alpacas are usually bred for fiber, while llamas are pack animals that are also bred for meat.
#7 Lizards vs. Salamanders
- Habitat: lizards are terrestrial animals, while salamanders are amphibians who spend a lot of time in water.
- Skin: salamanders have smooth, moist, slimy-looking skin, while lizards have scales.
- Eggs: both lizards and salamanders lay eggs, but only lizards' eggs have hard shells. Their young are small lizards, while salamanders' babies look like tadpoles.
Did this information surprise you? Or did you already know how to differentiate between these animals?
Tell us in the comments.
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