Animals we Often Mistake for one Another

The animal kingdom is a diverse, unique place. So much so that it is incredibly easy to mistake one animal for another. Many animals are similar in appearance but completely contrasting in personality. That being the case, it is easy to look at one animal from a photo and assume it is something else. Need a few examples? No worries. Here are some of the most commonly mistaken animals for another species.

Black Panthers & Other Cats

Did you know that the infamous black panther is simply another form of ‘big cat’ that has been suffering from a condition known as melanism?

Black panthers can just as easily be a leopard or a jaguar that has excessive black pigmentation. There is really no such thing as a ‘black panther’ – but simply many more large cats that have been suffering from this condition that changes their pigmentation so drastically.

Shrimps & Prawns

Go to a seafood restaurant and ask for prawn and what arrives might look like shrimp. They might appear similar, but they really are quite different from one another. Both have ten legs, which makes them instantly quite similar, but prawns are generally larger than shrimp and they tend to have a curved look that shrimps simply do not have. Shrimps also have crowns on their first two claws, while prawns have them on their first three. A small but important distinction.

Bison & Buffalo

Another common example is the mistake of bison and buffalo. Bison and buffalo share many different features, but some distinct physical differences make them easier to tell apart. Also, they do not hail from the same parts of the world. Buffalo is mostly found across Africa and Asia, whereas in Europe and America we have bison. Bison are also noted for their short horns and their massive heads; buffalo, by contrast, have shorter heads and longer horns.

Butterfly & Moth

Usually easily told apart due to the chromatic nature of a butterfly, many make the mistake of thinking a moth is a butterfly. The easiest way to identify them, though, is when you see them flutter down to rest. Moths rest with their wings shut, and butterflies close their wings as they rest. Butterflies only open their wings to sunbathe or to fly. So, if you see a ‘moth’ with its wings shut, it is actually a butterfly!