The word “Cheetah” is derived from the Hindi word “Chita” meaning “spotted one”. It is known as the fastest mammal on Earth. It has long legs, a tall, slim build and its colors are tawny, black-spotted fur. The cheetah’s spots help to camouflage it in its environment. Unlike the other cats it has non-retractile claws.
Some cheetahs have a rare fur pattern mutation of larger, blotchy, merged spots. Known as “king cheetahs,” they were once thought to constitute a separate subspecies but are in fact African cheetahs; their unusual fur pattern is the result of a single recessive gene.
The name of a male is referred to simply as a cheetah. The name of a female is referred to as a she-cheetah. The name or offspring, or baby Cheetahs, is a cub. This animal is often mistaken for leopards.
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