Why do Leopards have Spots and Tigers have Stripes for Camouflage But Lions Are Plain?

There’s a good reason why different kinds of cats have different kinds of patterns.

leopards have spots for camouflage

In forests, with the sun shining through leaves, irregular spots work best to disguise something. Not surprisingly, all of the forest cats, like cheetahs, jaguars, leopards, and ocelots, are spotted.

Tigers can live in a variety of surroundings, from forests to jungles to mangrove swamps, but they mostly hunt in grassy woodlands.

Since adult big cats are high on the food chain and are not usually in danger from predators, being perfectly hidden while resting at home isn’t as important as being hidden while hunting.

Tigers’ vertical stripes in tawny colors fit the bill nicely, allowing them to blend in with the tall grasses and woody bushes where they find their prey.

Lions spend all of their hunting time on sun-scorched, arid plains, so their uniformly sandy coloring suits them well. However, their babies, because of their lack of size and strength, are vulnerable to predators.

To combat this vulnerability, baby lions have spots for the first year of life, which helps them hide in the shade.

Where is the snow that snow leopards live in?

The Himalayan Mountains of northwestern China and Tibet.

If I Can’t See It, It Can’t Hurt Me.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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