You already know that cheetahs are fast. But did you know that cheetahs, especially BABY cheetahs are really great pretenders?

I came across this cool tidbit recently and just had to share.

So you’ve got your cheetah. It looks like this:

And you’ve got your baby cheetah, who looks like this. D’aww…

Notice anything? The adult cheetah has a smooth, spotted coat on its back, while the baby has a floofy, white mohawk running the length of its head to its tail. Here’s another look from the side:

It might not look like much to us. But the baby cheetah is actually tricking potential predators. To us, it’s a floofy, adorable helpless cheetah cub. Look how cute he is.

To predators, that special little mohawk can make it can look like this guy:

This is a honey badger. Honey badgers are nuts. By that, I mean they are fierce, brave, and retaliate like Bruce Willis when attacked. And it usually wins, too, because it has insanely thick skin. Oh, and it hunts and kills poisonous snakes for dinner. Pretty much every predator in Africa knows to stay away from him, because of this nasty reputation.

Mom cheetahs often have to leave their cubs behind when they hunt (because you can’t have your kid getting in the way when you’re trying to take down a gazelle or something). Helpless, little cheetah cubs are easy pickings for predators, but if they think they spot a HONEY BADGER, they will often hightail to another area and ignore the cub.

Nature works, kids, so the moral is if you want the meanies to leave you alone, look like a honey badger.

2 thoughts on “When In Doubt, Look Like a Honey Badger”

  1. Fun post, I love your gorgeous nature photos (like robojelly – or doesn’t that count as nature?)
    To see this in action (well, animated action) watch Wild Kratts, a kid’s show on PBS that means my younger son knows more about animals at six years old than I did when I graduated from college.
    Plus he totally wants to be a cheetah.

  2. Cool! I thought he looked like a little hyena, but that would also work just fine for making me leave him alone!

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