Animals - Comparisons

Sea Lion vs Seal

Sea lions have outer ears, seals lack external ears.

Alpaca vs Llama

  • llamas are much larger;
  • Alpacas have straight, pointed ears while llamas have long banana shaped ears
  • Alpacas have cute faces with a lot of fur; llamas have longer noses.
  • Alpacas are shy herd animals; Llamas are independent and more confident.
  • Alpacas have fine soft fiber, they are bred for their fine fleece; Llama fiber is more coarse
  • Llamas are strongers (can help human carry some weight during trekking)

Emu vs Ostrich

  • Emus are the second largest birds native to Australia while Ostrich is largest bird native to Africa.
  • Emus have deep brown feathers with it being very difficult to distinguish the males and females except during mating season while the ostrich males have black and white and females have brown feathers.
  • Emus have three toes with speeds of upto 30 MPH while ostrich has two toes and speeds of upto 40 MPH.
  • Emus are farmed for their oil, meat and leather while ostriches are farmed for their feathers meat and leather.
  • Emus pairs for mating but the incubation and raising the chicks is done by the males alone. The ostriches form groups with each male have six to seven females and the incubation is done by them in turns.

Cougar / Puma / Mountain Lion vs Jaguar vs Panther vs Leopard

  • Cougar = Puma = Mountain Lion = Catamount, pure tawny, no spotts
  • “panther” is a general term for cats that have solid-colored coats
  • leopards live in Africa (and some parts of Asia) while jaguars exist on the other side of the world throughout Central and South America.
  • Leopards are the only wild cats that are known to drag their meals into trees.
  • The jaguar’s “superpower” is that it's the most aquatic
  • Jaguar: rosetts with inner dots; Leopard: no inner dots
  • A black panther is not a separate species of big cat, rather, it is a term given to specific cats that have dark coloring, called melanism. Both jaguars and leopards (as well as many other smaller wild cat species) can exhibit this melanism. This has led to the term “black panther” being used to describe both leopards and jaguars over time.
  • Cheetah: only dots, no circles; in Africa.

Moose vs Elk

Deer, elk, moose and reindeers are physically similar to each other due to the fact that they are part of the same family, the Cervidae family.

  • Moose is larger than Elk
  • Moose typically have a much darker coat than elk and lack the lighter rump coloring of elk.
  • The nose of a moose is also much larger and rather bulbous, or round, compared to the pointy nose of an elk.
  • The antlers of moose and elk also grow very differently. The antlers of a moose grow out to the side of their head, while the antlers of an elk grow backward over their bodies. The antlers of an elk have a main beam with long points growing off that main beam, while the antlers of a moose grow in a shovel-like shape with many points growing off of the thick, shovel-shaped portion.
  • moose grow a flapping piece of skin under their throats called a dewlap or bell. This feature is unique to moose and is not present in elk.

Reindeer vs Caribou

Reindeer and caribou are the same animal (Rangifer tarandus) and are a member of the deer family. In Europe, they are called reindeer. In North America, the animals are called caribou if they are wild and reindeer if they are domesticated.

Tortoise vs Turtle

  • Tortoises have more rounded and domed shells where turtles have thinner, more water-dynamic shells. Turtle shells are more streamlined to aid in swimming.
  • One major key difference is that tortoises spend most of their time on land and turtles are adapted for life spent in water.
  • Tortoises have club-like forelegs and 'elephantine' hind legs. Because tortoise are often larger and heavier, their elephantine hind legs help them move around and carry the extra weight!
  • Turtles will have more flipper like legs, or webbed feet to make it easier to cruise through the water.

Kangaroo vs Wallaroo vs Wallaby

  • size: Kangaroo > wallaroo > wallaby. Kangaroos can get up to 2 meters
  • kangaroos live in open flat grounds where speed is important
  • wallabies live in forests or mountain areas where maneuverability is more important than speed. they can find grasses, roots, tree leaves, and weeds. That’s why a wallaby needs flat back teeth.
  • The quokka a.k.a. the short-tailed scrub wallaby, about the size of a domestic cat.

Turkey vs Peacock

The Phasianidae (雉科) are a family of heavy, ground-living birds, which includes pheasants, partridges, junglefowl, chickens, turkeys, Old World quail, and peafowl. Male peafowl are referred to as peacocks, and female peafowl are referred to as peahens

Yak vs Bison vs Buffalo

  • Yaks Live in Asia, The Tibetan plateau
  • Bison Live in North America and Europe
  • Old World “true” buffalo (Cape buffalo and water buffalo) are native to Africa and Asia.
  • Bison have large humps at their shoulders and bigger heads than buffalo. They also have beards, as well as thick coats which they shed in the spring and early summer.
  • Cape buffalo horns resemble a handlebar mustache; they have a thick, helmet-like base and curl down, then back up. A water buffalo’s horns are large, long and curved in a crescent, while a bison’s horns are typically sharp and shorter than the average buffalo’s.

Octopus vs Cuttlefish vs Squid

  • Octopus: 8 tentacles; a lot bigger than squid and cuttlefish, longer and larger tentacles; does not have a shell (Squid and cuttlefish have an internal “structure” to protect them); can its skin color; mostly live alone.
  • Cuttlefish: 10 tentacles; have an internal shell called “cuttlebone” make them the slowest and least flexible of the three (octopus and squid are fast predators, whereas cuttlefish are slower); move using wings on the sides of their bodies; eyes in the shape of a W.
  • Squid: 10 tentacles; used for “calamari rings.” calamari is “squid” in Italian

Centipedes vs millipedes

While centipedes have one pair of legs on every body segment, millipedes have two pairs of legs per segment, Centipedes have legs that point away from their bodies, while millipede legs point down at the ground. Centipede legs are also typically longer than those of a millipede. centipedes pose more risks to humans because they can bite. Millipedes, on the other hand, pose no biting risk, but they can leave behind a bad-smelling secretion on your hands when handled.

Walrus vs Elephant seals

The main obvious difference is that a walrus has tusks, however, they also differ in size. Elephant seals are bigger than even the largest male walrus.

Hornbills vs Toucan

Both have large beaks.

  • Hornbills: Old World (sub-Saharan Africa and Asia)
  • Toucan: New WOrld (Central / South America).

Pideons vs Doves

No scientific differences. The difference is more linguistic than taxonomic. (The word dove is a word that came into English from the more Nordic languages, whereas pigeon came into English from French.)