In a world with a large variety of animal species, there are some pairs that can confuse you for a while with their appearance. At times, these pairs come from the same family; at times, they do not. Here is a list of 12 pairs of animals you might mistake for one the other. Let’s have a glance!
1. Rabbit vs. Hare
Despite belonging to the same Leporidae family and having almost similar looks, rabbits and hares can be easily mistaken. However, these cute little mammals can be separately identified by some simple means. Hares are larger in size than rabbits. Their ears and legs are much bigger than a rabbit of the same age.
Rabbits prefer to stay in burrows underground whereas you will see a colony of hares residing above the ground and running around. At times, they can run as fast as 80 kmph. Also, you can easily pet a rabbit.
They love human company, but hares refuse to be petted and love the wildlife. That’s why they’re more equipped in certain categories. In winter, hares shed their brownish furs and replace them with a white coat since it’s a better camouflage. You won’t see such a dramatic incident with rabbits molting. (1, 2)
2. Turtles vs. Tortoise
Turtles and tortoises belong to the family of Testudines, but they are one of these pairs of animals who are slightly different in behaviors and physical structure.
If the creature you’re stalking is more of an on-land guy, that’s definitely a tortoise because turtles love to swim and spend most of their time in the water. Another no-brainer is the feet. If their feet are flippered or webbed, it’s of a turtle.
Since they’re full-time swimmers, they have to have flipper legs, unlike tortoises. Another distinguishing feature is their shell. If the shell is mainly domed and rounded in structure, that’s a tortoise. Turtle’s shells are fairly plain and smooth in general to help them in swimming. (source)
3. Raven vs. Crows
If you have watched Game Of Thrones, you are already familiar with the term “raven.” You may have found them no different than the crows you see in your locality, too. But truth be told, despite belonging from the same cosmopolitan family of Oscine passerine birds, they are actually different.
Out of the 810 species of birds in North America, only these two are completely black in color. John Marzluff, a crow researcher, discovered that these birds can remember the faces of persons and their actions.
The main distinguishing feature between a raven and a crow, one of the most confusing pairs of animals, is its size. A raven is heavier, larger – at times they are four times larger than the size of a crow.
If you see a group of birds flying, you can be sure that it’s a flock of crows because ravens prefer to move around as couples. Also, if you notice them closely while they are flying, you will find that the tail of a raven is diamond-shaped while that of a crow looks like a fan. (source)
4. Lizards vs. Salamanders
These loosely connected cousins of dinosaurs are often too similar to identify. Although they look like brothers, they aren’t even close. Lizards are reptiles, while salamanders are famous amphibians.
Also, lizards have five fingers and five toes while salamanders have one less. Salamanders are amphibians, which means they spend a significant amount of time swimming, which makes them moist and cold. On the other hand, lizards are dry and rough.
While moving, lizards tend to creep and jump while salamanders run pretty smoothly and faster. Salamanders don’t have any claws or ear openings, while lizards flaunt them. Interestingly enough, lizards don’t go through any physical formation process, but salamanders, being amphibians, go through metamorphosis (similar to frogs). (1, 2)
5. Alpacas vs Llamas – Are they Twins?
You definitely cannot be blamed if you take a glance and mistake llamas and alpacas, two of the most lookalike pairs of animals, for twins. However, they are not. Belonging to the same Camelidae family, both the animals are widely found and used in Bolivia and Peru.
They serve different human purposes due to their separate physical attributes. Alpacas are used for fleece production and llamas are used for transportation. A llamas’ height and weight can be up to 47 inches and 113 kilograms, respectively.
On the contrary, an alpaca’s height and weight can be up to 35 inches and 65 kilograms, respectively. So, the higher BMI of llamas makes them perfect for transport. On the other hand, alpacas have more dense and superior-quality body hair than llamas, and that makes them perfect for fleece production.
In fact, the color variety of alpacas’ body hair, such as black, white, light yellow, and brown, are also very pretty. Apart from this, they have other differences as well. Alpacas have a blunt face and short ears, but llamas have an elongated face and longer ears. Moreover, unlike the timid alpacas, llamas often spit, kick, freeze, or lie down in response to maltreatment and overload. (source)
6. Hedgehogs vs. Porcupines
These two dangerous-looking animals are also from distant families. Hedgehogs are mainly found in America, and their family is named Erinaceinae. Porcupines roam around Asia, Africa, and Europe, and their family is known as Erethizontidae.
Another category of porcupines named Hystricidae can be found in America. Also, there are certain basic differences that lead to differences in the behavior of these two, also. Hedgehogs have their quills of one inch in size while some species of porcupines have a foot-long quill.
As a result, in intense situations hedgehogs are defensive, they scrunch their body up in a round shape and stretch the quills outwards for anyone who tries to bite. Porcupines stretch their long quills backward to attack the enemy. Also, hedgehogs are very small, as you can imagine with such short quills. But porcupines are larger in size.