Serval vs. Ocelot

Serval vs. Ocelot

Serval and ocelot are types of wild cats. Ocelot can be found in Mexico, Central and South America, while serval lives in sub-Saharan Africa. Ocelot inhabits dense tropical forests, mangrove swamps and savannas, while serval spends its life in savannas and mountainous areas with permanent water supply. Both types of cats are nocturnal hunters that aggressively defend their territories. They are frequently on a target of hunters because of their fur. Aside from that, serval and ocelot have little in common. They differ in:

Size

Ocelot can reach 27 to 39 inches in length (not including 10 to 18 inches of tail) and 18 to 40 pounds of weight. Serval can reach 23 to 36 inches in length (not including 7.9 to 15 inches of tail) and 15 to 40 pounds of weight.

Morphology

Ocelot has slender body, rounded ears, large front paws and long tail. Serval is also slender cat. It has the longest legs (relative to the body size) in the family of cats. Serval is easily recognized by its small head with very large, oval and closely positioned ears and relatively short tail.

Fur

Ocelot has smooth, yellowish-brown or reddish-brown fur covered with black spots arranged in rosettes (hence the nickname " dwarf leopard"). Its tail is covered with black bands and back side of the ears with single white spot. Ocelot has prominent black lines around eyes, on the forehead and on both sides of the face. Serval has tawny coat with black stripes on the neck and solitary black spots on the body. Ears are covered with single white bar on the back side. Completely black servals (melanistic forms) can be occasionally seen in the wild.

Diet

Serval hunts and eat rodents, hares, hyraxes, small birds, reptiles, frogs, fish, insects, and occasionally large animals such as deer and springbok. Ocelot eats lizards, turtles, frogs, crabs, fish, rabbits, rodents and opossums. It uses keen sense of smell to detect prey.

Reproduction

Serval can mate and produce offspring several times per year. Pregnancy lasts 66 to 77 days and ends with two kittens. Babies are blind and helpless at birth. They grow quickly and become ready to eat solid food at the age of one month. Young servals begin independent life at the age of 12 months. Ocelot can mate at any time of the year. Females produce offspring once every two years. Pregnancy lasts 79 to 82 days and ends with single, poorly developed kitten. Baby spends first 3 months of its life inside den (usually inside a cave). Young ocelot stays with its mother until the age of 2 years.

Lifespan

Ocelot can survive 7 to 10 years, and serval around 10 years in the wild.

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