Some people cannot distinguish between a camel and a dromedary, between a leopard and a cheetah, among other animals since at first glance, they are very similar. According to Science Daily, there are 8.7 million species recorded on our planet and many of them resemble each other and that is why we confuse their names.
Here we are going to try to clear up some of those doubts, which, many of these animals are physically similar but without sharing a lineage and others are similar because they are related species. Let’s get started.
The Difference Between a Dromedary and a Camel
The hump is the main element to differentiate these two animals, but the dromedary (Camelus dromedarius) has only one hump, while the camel (Camelus bactrianus and Camelus ferus) has two.
Apart from their humps, both animals are distinguished by their habitat, for example, the dromedary is known as the Arabian camel since it comes from the Arabian Peninsula, and they are better adapted to withstand the heat. On the other hand, the camel is a native of Central Asia and they withstand cold temperatures better.
Camels are also endangered animals, something that we must not lose sight of. All of them are related to llamas and alpacas, which we will talk about below.
Llama, Alpaca, Vicunas, Guanaco: All Similar Animals
Dromedaries and camels as well as llamas, alpacas, vicunas and guanacos belong to the Camelidae family. All of them live in the Andean highlands, but llamas are a domesticated variant of guanacos, and both are much larger than vicuna and have more fur on their bodies. For its part; alpacas are the vicunas domesticated for centuries and are smaller and lighter, around half their size.
Crocodile, Caiman, Alligators, and Gavials: Learn to Distinguish Them
It can be said that caiman and alligators are the same because they are within the same family and that they are also crocodiles because they share order, but they are all divided into different families and species.
Its location and size are its major references: crocodile species inhabit Africa, part of Asia and Australia, with even saltwater species (Crocodylus porosus, the largest in the world) and are much larger, while caimans and alligators are only found in Central America, the Amazon, and Florida, and are smaller in size, except for one type of alligator that lives in China.
By the way, there is one more member of this family, the Gavials (Gavialis gangeticus) that live in the Gánges and are recognizable by their elongated snout.
Leopards, Cheetahs, Jaguars, and Panthers
They are all big cats and differentiating them is quite simple if we know that leopards and jaguars belong to the genus Panthera, while cheetahs are the only living member of the genus Acinonyx.
The jaguars (Panthera onca) are the only one that lives in America (part of north, central and south), while the leopard (Panthera pardus) is distributed by Africa and Asia. For its part, the fast cheetah, the fastest mammal in the world, is more stylized and currently only lives on the African continent.
As for black panthers, they are named for both jaguars and leopards that have melanism, a genetic mutation that makes their skin completely dark. I. e., it is not a proper species.
Many other animals look alike physically and that confuses many people, but to know how to differentiate them with the naked eye, just pay attention to their places of origin.