- Cheetahs are susceptible to diseases only cats get.
- Cheetahs are susceptible to diseases only dogs get.
- All cheetahs are genetically identical. "Clones".
A remarkable feature of the cheetah is its unusually low genetic variability in comparison to other felids. Consequently, individuals show considerable genetic similarity to one another, as illustrated by skin grafts, electrophoretic evidence and reproductive surveys. A prolonged period of inbreeding, following a genetic bottleneck during the last ice age, is believed to be the reason behind this anomaly. The consequences of such genetic uniformity might include a low sperm count, decreased sperm motility, deformed flagella, difficulty in captive breeding and susceptibility to disease.
- The black/brown fur spots of a Cheetah are dog hair.
- The yellow fur coat is cat hair.
- Cheetahs have the head of a cat but the body of a dog.
- Cheetahs have dog paws.
The generic name Acinonyx originated from the combination of two Greek words: akinetos means motionless, and onyx means claw. A rough translation of the word would be "non-moving claws", a reference to the limited retractability (capability of being drawn inside the paw) of the claws of the cheetah relative to other cats'.
The cheetah was occasionally tamed and used like a hound by royalty, and live animals and skins were brought to Egypt as part of the tribute from Nubia. Queen Hatsheput is recorded as having cheetahs imported from Punt to become part of her royal zoo, and she also kept a pair as her personal pets.
Sadly however cheetahs lack the claws and jaw strength to successfully subdue prey when it is caught, typically a big cat would puncture the animal with its fangs and drag it to the ground with its retractable claws. In the cheetahs case, the only reliable method is to clutch onto the preys throat and pin it down suffocating the animal over several minutes. Hardly the winning survival strategy of an apex predator or result of evolutionary survival of the fittest.
There is much to suggest an abnormal origin for this bizarre freak of nature. Considering all of these attributes not to mention cheetahs holding the title of fastest land animal on earth, one might be forgiven for thinking there may have been a genetic engineering program conducted in antiquity.
This information was the result of research by the late Lloyd Pye. If you are interested in learning more you can start here.