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Which "big cat" is the better hunter?


Fatality911

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snow-leopard_712_600x450.jpg

 

The Snow Leopard

 

These rare, beautiful gray leopards live in the mountains of Central Asia. They are insulated by thick hair, and their wide, fur-covered feet act as natural snowshoes. Snow leopards have powerful legs and are tremendous leapers, able to jump as far as 50 feet (15 meters). They use their long tails for balance and as blankets to cover sensitive body parts against the severe mountain chill.

 

Snow leopards prey upon the blue sheep (bharal) of Tibet and the Himalaya, as well as the mountain ibex found over most of the rest of their range. Though these powerful predators can kill animals three times their weight, they also eat smaller fare, such as marmots, hares, and game birds.

 

One Indian snow leopard, protected and observed in a national park, is reported to have consumed five blue sheep, nine Tibetan woolly hares, twenty-five marmots, five domestic goats, one domestic sheep, and fifteen birds in a single year.

 

As these numbers indicate, snow leopards sometimes have a taste for domestic animals, which has led to killings of the big cats by herders.

 

These endangered cats appear to be in dramatic decline because of such killings, and due to poaching driven by illegal trades in pelts and in body parts used for traditional Chinese medicine. Vanishing habitat and the decline of the cats' large mammal prey are also contributing factors.

 

cheetah_492_600x450.jpg

 

The Cheetah

 

The cheetah is the world's fastest land mammal. With acceleration that would leave most automobiles in the dust, a cheetah can go from 0 to 60 miles (96 kilometers) an hour in only three seconds. These big cats are quite nimble at high speed and can make quick and sudden turns in pursuit of prey.

 

Before unleashing their speed, cheetahs use exceptionally keen eyesight to scan their grassland environment for signs of prey?especially antelope and hares. This big cat is a daylight hunter that benefits from stealthy movement and a distinctive spotted coat that allows it to blend easily into high, dry grasses.

 

When the moment is right a cheetah will sprint after its quarry and attempt to knock it down. Such chases cost the hunter a tremendous amount of energy and are usually over in less than a minute. If successful, the cheetah will often drag its kill to a shady hiding place to protect it from opportunistic animals that sometimes steal a kill before the cheetah can eat. Cheetahs need only drink once every three to four days.

 

Female cheetahs typically have a litter of three cubs and live with them for one and a half to two years. Young cubs spend their first year learning from their mother and practicing hunting techniques with playful games. Male cheetahs live alone or in small groups, often with their littermates.

 

Most wild cheetahs are found in eastern and southwestern Africa. Perhaps only 12,000 of these big cats remain, and those are under pressure as the wide-open grasslands they favor are disappearing at the hands of human settlers.

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In the mountains the Leopard, on the plains the Cheetah.:P

 

Overall perhaps the Leopard, being a solitary hunter it's technique needs to be flawless.

 

Were the Cheetah can rely on thier speed and team hunting tactics.

 

I guess you could go back and argue that the Leopard only needs to rely on itself so it's the only link in the chain were if you have a young inexperieced Cheetah well the team is only as strong as the weakest link making things that much harder.

 

You could also say the Leopard usually hunts under the cover of darkness and usually doesn't have other animals around as much on the plains to warn the other animals.

 

Idk I'd still give a slight edge to the Leopard. Maybe

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In the mountains the Leopard' date=' on the plains the Cheetah.:P

 

Overall perhaps the Leopard, being a solitary hunter it's technique needs to be flawless.

 

Were the Cheetah can rely on thier speed and team hunting tactics.

 

I guess you could go back and argue that the Leopard only needs to rely on itself so it's the only link in the chain were if you have a young inexperieced Cheetah well the team is only as strong as the weakest link making things that much harder.

 

You could also say the Leopard usually hunts under the cover of darkness and usually doesn't have other animals around as much on the plains to warn the other animals.

 

Idk I'd still give a slight edge to the Leopard. Maybe[/quote']

 

All good points.

 

I like that you really can't make up your mind though, it's always funner to speculate when the decision is razor thin.

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Here is the thing. The cheetah can make a kill almost anytime it wants to due to its incredible speed. The only draw back is the cheetah is very weak when it comes to defending her kill against lions or hyenas.

 

The snow leopard is equiped with less speed but packs more muscle P4P for its size and it rarely has to defend its kill against other predators.

 

But overall, the cheetah is the more successful hunter of the two. The cheetah is a picky hunter but you rarely see a cheetah lose a hunt if it decides to go for it.

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close.

 

of course the physical prowess of both large cats is amazing in its own right (the speed & stability of a cheetah compared to the leaping power & balance of the snow leopard)

 

cheetah have 50% chance to lose their kill. they have other large predators to compete with including leopard, hyena & lion, as well as pack of AWD on the plains. snow leopards hunting range is far above that of the bears & tiger in the surrounding territory, utilizing mostly ambush techniques to kill prey, alot of which are domestic animals. african Leopards however in general, when included in the overall spectrum show that the leopard is the more successful hunter,. it has speed, size, power & the all important ability to Climb, where the cheetah just has speed.

 

Snow Leopards are the least studied predator in the world BTW. so again, very hard to say if this is species specific in terms of Snow Leopard vs. Cheetah.

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i remember watching a show that compared big cats, and i am pretty sure that snow leopards have a higher kill ratio than cheetahs, partially due to the fact that they ambush their prey from a closer distance that cheetahs. couple that with the fact that cheetahs a actually quite frail animals who tend to give up if they arent initially successful, i would say that snow leopars are by far the more dangerous and better hunter

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The cheetah is better.

 

There is usually more than one cheetah going for its prey.

 

The prey hardly ever gets away.

 

 

 

Cool thread BTW :)

 

In the mountains the Leopard' date=' on the plains the Cheetah.:P

 

Overall perhaps the Leopard, being a solitary hunter it's technique needs to be flawless.

 

Were the Cheetah can rely on thier speed and team hunting tactics.

 

I guess you could go back and argue that the Leopard only needs to rely on itself so it's the only link in the chain were if you have a young inexperieced Cheetah well the team is only as strong as the weakest link making things that much harder.

 

You could also say the Leopard usually hunts under the cover of darkness and usually doesn't have other animals around as much on the plains to warn the other animals.

 

Idk I'd still give a slight edge to the Leopard. Maybe[/quote']

 

FYI, Cheetahs don't typically hunt in groups. They sometimes form small groups for territorial reasons.

 

That being said, the Cheetah is a more successful hunter I believe overall. The Snow Leopard is at a slight disadvantage by living in rocky terrain.........but still has incredible agility and prowess.

 

Both are phenomenal animals.

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look at it this way;

 

if the snow leopard was hunting the cheetah & vice versa... the snow leopard would end up with a meal. therefor, it is the better more accomplished hunter..... there is some Animal MMA Math for you guys :D

 

but in reality, such a close debate. Leopard in general are by far the most succesful hunter of Big Cats, but when you narrow it down to specifically 'Snow Leopard' vs. Cheetah, it becomes a big question, because Snow Leopard are the least studied of all big cats. i'll find some studies & hunting success ratios for this thread.

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look at it this way;

 

if the snow leopard was hunting the cheetah & vice versa... the snow leopard would end up with a meal. therefor' date=' it is the better more accomplished hunter..... there is some Animal MMA Math for you guys :D

 

but in reality, such a close debate. Leopard in general are by far the most succesful hunter of Big Cats, but when you narrow it down to specifically 'Snow Leopard' vs. Cheetah, it becomes a big question, because Snow Leopard are the least studied of all big cats. i'll find some studies & hunting success ratios for this thread.[/quote']

 

I was waiting on you to come in and share some knowledge!

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I was waiting on you to come in and share some knowledge!

 

interesting find. "The cheetah is one of the most accomplished of hunters within the wild cat species - it catches up to 60%-70% of prey that it hunts. The lion on the other hand has a relatively low success rate (less than 30%) and combats this by hunting collectively, thus maximising its success rate with the larger of the prey species "

 

http://www.agarman.dial.pipex.com/bco/behav01.htm

 

Looks like Cheetah have an average of atleast 50% (60-70 tops) success rate when hunting which is HUGE for predators. It is almost impossible to find concrete evidence of the Snow Leopard success rates, because they are so unknown & elusive.

 

Cheetah might be the more accomplished hunters but truth is as stated, on 50% of those kills, they get bullied off their own catch by other predators. competition for prey all lead to low success rates, African Leopard & Cheetah have alot of animal competition, where as the Snow Leopard hunt rates will only be effected by Man.

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Cheetahs apparently have a 50% hunt success rate.

 

I imagine the Snow Leopard beats that..........I figured the Cheetah to be higher.

 

the African Leopard has a lower success rate from what i'm reading now, anywhere from only 5 to 38% success rate on the kill. Snow Leopard would argueably be a higher ratio, but they are a smaller cat then the African Leopard. Not enough studies have been done for the Snow Leopard to show exact success.

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The snow leopard is definitely the better predator. Not only does it hunt animals that are built to maneuver the rough terrain it lives in, but it is far stronger and more durable than a cheetah. Like it said in the OP description it can take down an animal three times it's size on it's own , it hunts alone and it is able to endure very harsh climates. The Cheetah is probably my personal favorite when it comes to big cats, it's very beautiful and obviously it's speed is impressive. It has horrible endurance though and while it may have a reasonably high success rate on kills it typically is only able to take down small, sick or juvenile prey. It really only has one method of attack, a surprise ambush combined with flat out speed. If an animal is able to outmaneuver it for a length of time the cheetah will run out of steam and have to wait a very long time before it can attempt another attack. It's also pretty undersized and weak when compared to the other predators it must compete against and has it's kills taken away by lions and hyenas on a regular basis. It may hunt in groups but doesn't do a very good job of pack hunting. They pretty much just all run as fast as they can and hope one is able to trip the animal up. If we we're to use a sports analogy the cheetah would be an olympic sprinter and the snow leopard would be an mma fighter. Sure the cheetah can run in a straight line for a short distance very fast, but the snow leopard can run farther, fight harder and beat you in more ways.

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the African Leopard has a lower success rate from what i'm reading now' date=' anywhere from only 5 to 38% success rate on the kill. Snow Leopard would argueably be a higher ratio, but they are a smaller cat then the African Leopard. [b']Not enough studies have been done for the Snow Leopard to show exact success[/b].

 

this

 

and for the record, on average

 

cheetahs have a 50% kill rate

 

lions -30(in a group), 15% alone

 

tigers- 10%

 

african leopards 15%

 

cougars-60%

 

jaguars...not enough info, but since they are very similar to cougar, i would guess the same.

 

not sure with snow leopards....but i would guess the same as african leopards, since they employ similar hunting tactics, just in a different enviroment

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The thing about leopards is not so much their kill or success percentage' date=' but the fact they can carry their prey up a ****ing tree.

 

Their "keep" percentage is pretty much 100%.

 

Nothing comes up a tree to **** with a leopard.[/quote']

 

definitely. with the original proposed question, it can be taken alot of ways.

 

leopard (snow leopard) have like Cage said, 100% keep rate, whereas the cheetah is almost 50% guaranteed to lose its kill to other predators, all of which, are much more numerous then the snow leopards competition up in the snow & mountains. the cheetah, when you bring it down to the basis is the more succesful hunter because it HAS TO BE or it starves to death.

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It's true. Leopards' success rate is around 80% or maybe even higher. The problem is defending her meal once she catches it.

 

source?

 

i find it very hard to believe the Leopards success rate is 80%. the only studies on the leopard were on the african leopard. the snow leopard is smaller & more elusive, it also hunts domestic cattle & goat, showing it is a very opportune hunter.

 

all sources & links i've found give the african leopard anywhere from 5 to 15 to 38% rate. all much lower then studies that show the Cheetah at a high 50-60-70% rate.

 

the OP objectifies the question as "better hunter?" hunting in turn is used to get food, regardless the size of the prey the cheetah goes after, it picks its spots (no pun intended) & goes after the sure fire kill. when a cheetah goes out on a hunt, because it has so much competition that the snow leopard does not, it makes sure it gets its meal.

 

the cheetah as a smaller cat, needs to expend alot less energy for a kill so it goes after small antelope, so it can get in and out with a meal as fast as possible. the prey it hunts, doesn't change how effective it is at doing so.

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definitely. with the original proposed question' date=' it can be taken alot of ways.

 

leopard (snow leopard) have like Cage said, 100% keep rate, whereas the cheetah is almost 50% guaranteed to lose its kill to other predators, all of which, are much more numerous then the snow leopards competition up in the snow & mountains. the cheetah, when you bring it down to the basis is the more succesful hunter because it HAS TO BE or it starves to death.[/quote']

 

Well, I'm not exactly sure about Snow Leopards, but normal leopards carry their prey up into trees and eat them there.

 

I don't think any other cat can do that.

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LOL

 

They have the human at 28 mph. That is balonga!

 

How do you spell the slang term of bologna which means BS or do you just spell it as is?

 

the fasted human in recorded history was micheal johnson, who in 1996 ran aprox. 37.3 mph....so while MOST people could never run that fast, it is possible.

 

and i do believe you spell it as is

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the fasted human in recorded history was micheal johnson' date=' who in 1996 ran aprox. 37.3 mph....so while MOST people could never run that fast, it is possible.

 

and i do believe you spell it as is[/quote']

That is fast but I think the chart should be more accurate. I am guessing 18 mph for the average human being.

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Nobody has given good reasoning or sources as to why the Snow Leopard is the better hunter.

 

The african leopard is certainly FAR less successful then the cheetah & proof has been given to attest that fact.

 

i would assume because the snow leopard has been studdied so little that it is difficult to get real sources.....hard to qoute info that doesnt exist

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no im not..birds in theyr own category..they always will be "birds" not running mammalian..only flying mammalians is bats.if ya dont belive me...then

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mammal

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aerial_locomotion

 

even wiki counts birds in difrent category

 

god I hope this is a joke....

 

Of course they are animals, what else are they, vegetable, mineral , or fungus?

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