We tend to generalize animals because they look similar while there are plenty of reasons they are different. Test your knowledge with these often confused creatures and let us know how well you did in the comments!

When we learn about animals as young children, we do not often learn about the details and differences between creatures that are similar. For example, what is the difference between a seal and a sea lion? What about bee and a hornet? Here are simple ways to tell them apart!

Cheetahs, jaguars and leopards

Cheetah

cheetah

Jaguar

Jaguar

Leopard

leopard

Which is which?

It is possible to tell cheetahs, jaguars and leopards apart by looking at their prints. The easiest feline to identify is the cheetah. A cheetah has small solid spots that are distributed evenly. Leopards and jaguars, on the other hand, do not have spots. They are instead called "rosettes". This is because the markings on their body are clusters of yellow, black and tan fur. Although the two are harder to differentiate, they have different patterns. Jaguars are stocky and their rosettes are large with spots in the middle. The leopard has more "broken" rosettes and there are no spots in the middle.

Hares and rabbits

Hare

hare

Rabbit

rabbit

Which is which?

A hare is larger with longer and larger ears. They are also very fast and do not make very good pets.

Seals and sea lions

Seal

seal

Sea Lion

sea lion

Which is which?

While a sea lion can "walk" on land with its front legs, a seal needs to wriggle around on its belly to move. Sea lions are typically louder and known for their noisy "bark". Sea lions have visible ears as well.

Tortoise and turtle

Tortoise

tortoise

Turtle

turtle

Which is which?

All tortoises are turtles but not all turtles are tortoises. The main difference between the two is their habitat. Tortoises spend most of their time on land. Another big difference between the two is their diet. Tortoises are generally herbivores, whereas a turtle can eat both meat and plants.

Alligators and crocodiles

Alligator

 alligator

Crocodile

crocodile

Which is which?

Alligators have U-shaped snouts, while a crocodile has a V-shaped one. Another important difference is their habitat. Crocodiles generally live in saltwater while alligators live in freshwater.

Apes and monkeys

Ape

ape

Monkey

monkey

Which is which?

The easiest way to tell the difference between the two is by their tail. While monkeys typically have tails, apes do not. Monkeys are also known to run across branches. An ape, on the other hand, will swing from branch to branch. Regarding evolution, apes are more similar to humans than monkeys.

Bees, hornets, and wasps

Bee

bee

Hornet

Hornet

Wasp

wasp

Which is which?

Unlike hornets and wasps, bees die after stinging. Bees have stripes which are yellow and black. They are also fuzzy. Hornets and wasps have similar body shapes but a hornet is generally larger. Hornets and wasps also do not pollinate like bees do.

Did you know the difference between these confused creatures?

Sources: Lion World Travel, Tiger Tribe, National Geographic, National Ocean Service, Encyclopædia Britannica, Live Science, Wonderopolis, Gov MB

Add a comment

You need to have a Yummypets account in order to comment on this article.
Create your Yummypets account in less than a minute.