Fluffy cubs might be sup­posed to look like ag­gres­sive honey badgers

World of Animals - - 30 Amazing Facts About Cheetahs -

As chee­tah cubs are of­ten left alone by their mother, it’s ad­van­ta­geous to de­ter nearby car­ni­vores from ap­proach­ing the vul­ner­a­ble young. Young chee­tahs grow up with a light grey sad­dle on their backs and dark fur on their legs. This coloura­tion closely re­sem­bles one of Africa’s most fear­less preda­tors.

The honey badger at­tacks fe­ro­ciously when sur­prised by a preda­tor, and even if it is caught its loose skin al­lows it to twist around and bite its as­sailant, of­ten a lion.

Most mimicry in the an­i­mal king­dom cov­ers looks and be­hav­iour to make the act more con­vinc­ing, but chee­tah copy­cats end with the phys­i­cal re­sem­blance, as cubs don’t be­have like honey badgers one bit. Cubs hang out in groups, whereas the badgers are soli­tary, and un­like chee­tahs they are also (mostly) noc­tur­nal. This means the mimicry is fairly weak, and some sci­en­tists be­lieve the sim­i­lar­ity to be co­in­ci­den­tal.

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