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This is considered a form of crypsis (crypsis is the use of anatomy and behaviour to hide from potential predators. Captive breeding of cheetahs in south Africa – 30 years of data from the de Wildt cheetah and wildlife centre.
Cryptic animals are often otherwise palatable to their predators so would never survive if obvious).
Cheetahs, as a consequence of this perceived inbreeding, also developed metabolic patterns that are substantially different from those of other cats. Impact of social management on reproductive, adrenal and behavioural activity in the cheetah (, 8(1002), pp.64-75. E., Comizzoli, P., Baker, T., Davidson, A., Munson, L., Howard, J., Marker, L.
These variations provide major challenges when attempting to compile balanced diets for cheetahs in captivity as their needs differ substantially from those of the other cats.
The first and most extreme bottleneck possibly occurred in the late Pleistocene (circa 10,000 years ago), while the second was more recent (within the last century) and led to the development of the current South African populations.
Compared to other mammalian species including felids, cheetahs have low levels of MHC (major histocompatibility complex proteins) diversity, but this phenomenon does not seem to influence its immunocompetence and resistance to diseases of free-ranging cheetahs.
Many of the phenotypic effects that can be attributed to inbreeding depression, such as infertility, reduced litter sizes, and increased susceptibility to disease are, however, normally limited to captive individuals and this phenomenon may be explained as being physiological or behavioural artefacts of captivity, often as a result of inadequate diets and exposure to stress. Increasing age influences uterine integrity, but not ovarian function or oocyte quality, in the cheetah (, 85(2), pp.243-253.
There is speculation though that this limited genetic variation may be responsible for the perceived vulnerability of cheetahs in captivity and in the wild. Wachter, B., Thalwitzer, S., Hofer, H., Lonzer, J., Hildebrandt, T. They have relatively small rounded heads, short muzzles and round ears, and a distinctive black stripe (tear mark) from the inner aspects of the eyes to the corner of their mouths. Males are larger than females with an average weight of 54 kg in males and 43 kg in females. Their total length (including the tail) varies between 2060 cm and 1900 cm in males and females, respectively.
Their coat is rough and contains numerous round to oval black spots. Fertility assessment of cheetah males with poor quality semen.
As a predator, the cheetah also uses its forelimbs for prey capture and they must therefore also be adapted for this function.