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Chimaera-mimicry in juvenile cheetah  

 

cheetjuv

Acinonyx jubatus juveniles with mother photo © Mathias Appel

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Mellivora capensis photo © Jaganath

 
The juvenile colouration of the cheetah exemplifies chimaera-mimicry. The body imitates that of the honey badger while the head imitates that of the juvenile lion. This deception protects the juvenile cheetah from non-human predators because confusion delays attack; the mimicry is not precise enough to be convincing but because both models carry such emotional charge the incongruous combination enhances rather than detracting from the pretence.
 
Robin and the Honey Badger, 15 March 2016
cheetahcolouration
Acinonyx jubatus juveniles photo © belgianchocolate

                                             

                                           

                                            

 

 

 

i.e. more intensely pigmented than the normal colour-morp


 

 

 

 

 

                                        

i.e. more intensely pigmented than the normal colour-morp
Last modified on 04 January 2017

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