Genetic analysis has uncovered new details about the history, adaptation and survival of the world’s fastest land animal, the cheetah. The cheetah is descended from a relative of the American puma, and 100,000 years ago could be found across the Americas before moving into Asia and Europe.

The results of the genomic analysis have pinpointed two bottlenecks that likely contributed to this endangered animals extremely low genetic diversity, and provide further clues to their history and unique adaptations.

Original research paper published in Genome Biology on December 8, 2015.

Names and affiliations of selected author

Stephen J. O’Brien, Theodosius Dobzhansky Center for Genome Bioinformatics, Saint Petersburg State University, Russia