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10+ Pairs of Animals That Are Almost Identical (and How to Not Confuse Them)

What if we told you that it’s likely that we are accidentally calling some animals by the wrong name. And these aren’t obscure animals that we’ve never seen before, these animals are hiding in plain sight. Some even ignore the fact that dromedaries exist because they look almost exactly like camels.

With that in mind, Bright Side did a little research into the pairs of animals that are commonly mistaken for each other, and found out what the differences between them are. So keep reading and impress someone by letting them know they’re not looking at a camel, they’re looking at a dromedary!

1. Camel and dromedary

Most likely, people who have ever seen pictures of dromedaries thought they were camels, and if our guess is right, it is even more likely that it won’t be until they read this article that they’ll learn about a species called the dromedary. It’s nothing to worry about, though. After all, they weren’t very far from the truth.

Dromedaries are a species of the camel genus, but they have a few things that differ greatly from camels. You can visually tell them apart because camel hair is longer and because of the number of humps that each one has. Camels have 2 humps and dromedaries only have one.

2. Llama and alpaca

They look very similar because they come from the same animal family, one that we mentioned before... Can you guess which one? No matter how crazy this seems, both the alpaca and the llama are relatives of camels. Their side of the branch is called camelids (so we could say they’re kind of like cousins).

But there are many differences between alpacas and llamas. The llama is bigger than the alpaca, it also has a longer face and ears. Moreover, while the llama has a chubbier face, the alpaca has fluffy, soft wool. It must be a pleasure to pet it! Well, if they even let you, since they are usually very shy animals.

3. Sheep and goat

Okay, so sheep and goats are definitely not related to camels. They belong to the Caprinae subfamily. Depending on the breed of sheep or goat, their appearance can be different. Visual differences include the beard of goats and divided upper lip of sheep. Also, sheep tails hang down, while the short tails of goats are held upwards.

If the sheep has horns, you can distinguish them because their horns are usually rounded and spiral-shaped, while in goats they look oval and flattened, depending on the breed.

4. Octopus and squid

Although both squids and octopuses live in water, they are not the same. To begin with, octopuses have 4 pairs of arms, and squid have 8 tentacles and 2 that are considered arms. Also, with a few notable exceptions, squids are much smaller than most octopuses.

5. Duck and goose

They both look very nice and meeting either of them is often very pleasant, but it would be much better if they could be distinguished, wouldn’t it? To be able to tell them apart you have to compare their sizes. Geese are larger and have longer necks than ducks. The webbing on the feet of geese tends to be more prominent than those on the feet of ducks.

6. Ant and termite

Okay, it’s not hard to tell if there’s a termite or an ant in your home. One or the other invades your house or attacks your wooden furniture or steals your sugar, either way you’ll notice their presence no matter how small they are. Especially since they often come in great numbers...

But if you want to know, at a glance, which one is your invader, you should know that when both of these insects have wings, you will be able to identify them by looking closely at their waists and antennae. Termites have thick waists and straight antennae, while ants have looser waists and twisted antennae. Either way, unless you like insects very much, you won’t be very happy to find either of them lurking in your stuff.

7. Toad and frog

Frogs and toads are not as similar as we might believe. In fact, they can easily be told apart. Frogs are smaller and have smoother skin. On the other hand, toads are usually more robust, muscular, and have shorter legs than frogs. Frogs have a more elongated anatomy, including their legs.

8. Monkey and chimpanzee

Aren’t monkeys and chimps the same thing? Uh, no, they’re not. The monkey species does not include chimpanzees, nor do gorillas, which are considered apes (this word is also used as a synonym for “monkey,” but in zoology it actually belongs to another branch of study). It’s worth noticing that monkeys are smaller and hairier. Also, the most characteristic feature is that chimpanzees, just like humans and unlike monkeys, do not have a tail.

9. Red panda and raccoon

Just to be clear, the difference between these 2 isn’t that the red panda is related to panda bears! If it were not for the striking color of the red panda, it would be very easy for it to camouflage itself as a racoon, since they are very similar to each other. They both have striped tails and they both love to climb trees. But also, as we can see in the pictures, the red panda’s snout is flatter than that of the raccoon, and the spots around its eyes are not black, but white.

10. Chameleon and iguana

The feature that can differentiate these 2 reptiles the best is their eyes. Chameleons’ eyes, unlike iguanas’, have “dark circles”. The upper and lower eyelids joined together in such a way that they form a perfect circle for the pupil to see through. Iguanas, on the other hand, have eyes that look similar to what we would call a normal eye.

11. Groundhog and prairie dog

Are they twins? Well, if you look closely at both animals, you’ll probably notice that they are far from being the same. They do belong to the same Sciuridae family, which explains why they are so similar. But prairie dogs are smaller and have shorter legs than groundhogs. Groundhogs also have flatter heads and are more robust in general.

12. Ladybug and firebug

You certainly have to take a very close look at both of these creatures to distinguish them, since both are small insects with red spotted backs. But don’t be fooled! As you can see, the firebug has a more elongated body than the ladybug. It also has long antennae and more prominent legs. In addition, the ladybug has circular spots on its wings, while the firebug has more edgy shapes. Sometimes it even seems like somebody may have painted the firebug’s wings.

13. Fox and black-backed jackal

With such a similar appearance, even in the little details like the tips of their ears, you might have a hard time telling tell which one is which. The easiest way to distinguish them is by paying attention to the color of their fur. Only the black-backed jackal has that big black spot on its back, to which its name refers. It is also covered with white spots, which none of the fox species have.

Have you ever mistaken one animal for another? Which pair of animals did you confuse for one another? Do you know of any other animals that look like each other?

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