Feral cats in Northern California have enabled researchers to unlock the biological secret behind a rare, striped cheetah found only in sub-Saharan Africa, according to researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine, the National Cancer Institute and HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama. The study is the first to identify a molecular basis of coat patterning in mammals.

A genetic mutation changes a spotted cheetah pattern to a striped king cheetah pattern.

Cheetah Family - Wild Animals Image (4073980) - Fanpop

The rare King Cheetah. While a normal cheetah is generally a golden color and dappled with small, black spots, the King has spots that run together to form 3 black stripes down it's back. This unique pattern is due wholey to a recessive gene. They are extremely rare and can only usually be found within a few remote areas of Zimbabwe and Southern Africa.

Cheetah family

Genetics behind spots on chetah, tabbies

Cheetahs

∞Cheetah mom and cub

The Cheetah is considered the world's fastest land mammal reaching speeds of up to 75 mph. The Cheetah was listed as endangered in 1970. The existence is threatened by habitat loss and hunting for their spotted pelt. They are also sometimes killed by farmers protecting their livestock.

cheetahs

"Racing Stripes" The King Cheetah has a recessive fur pattern mutation. First discovered in Zimbabwe in 1926, this very rare animal has been seen in the wild only 6 times. About 10K years ago, the population of cheetahs plummeted, perhaps to a single pregnant female worldwide. Modern cheetahs are so genetically similar as to be virtual clones, making this novel coat pattern all the more interesting. Photo by: Steve Jurvetson

Cheetah

Cheetah - Looking up to mom!

Mom... Mom... Mom... MOM... MOM!... MOM!!! Mother..Mom....... WHAT? . Hi.... Cheetah Mother and cub

The KING CHEETAH. A rare mutation in the Cheetah species. The recessive gene from both parents must be inherited for this pattern to appear.

A cheetah mother and cub in Namibia's Etosha National Park.

The leopard /ˈlɛpərd/ (Panthera pardus) is one of the five "big cats" in the genus Panthera. It is a member of the Felidae family with a wide range in regions of sub-Saharan Africa, West Asia, the Middle East, South and Southeast Asia to Siberia.[2] Fossil records found in Italy suggest that in the Pleistocene it ranged as far as Europe (Wikipedia).

Mommy's love

Cheetah

Mother And Cub Cheetah Sitting On Dirt Mound Kenya by Robert Winslow