Un­like leop­ards, they have real spots

World of Animals - - 30 Amazing Facts About Cheetahs -

Chee­tah mark­ings are solid black cir­cles, whereas leop­ards, jaguars and most other ‘spot­ted’ cats have rosettes. These cir­cu­lar mark­ings of­ten fea­ture a small spot in the cen­tre and are a much more com­mon form of cam­ou­flage.

Pat­terned fur cre­ates ‘dis­rup­tive coloura­tion’, which breaks up the an­i­mal’s out­line. This en­ables the chee­tah to sneak through veg­e­ta­tion with­out stick­ing out and be­com­ing vis­i­ble to prey. The un­der­ly­ing fur matches the colour of the long grass to help the chee­tah re­main in­vis­i­ble to on­look­ers.

Big cat cam­ou­flage is a se­ri­ous mat­ter and can be the dif­fer­ence be­tween life and death. If a preda­tor is seen its prey will flee and the hunter will go hun­gry. Cam­ou­flage has de­vel­oped over mil­lions of years of evo­lu­tion and can save a cat’s skin.

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