How do some cats have stripes and others spots?
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Researchers recently discovered why certain cats have stripes and others spots— and it all has to do with mutations. In particular, tabby house cats and king cheetahs share a gene responsible for the cats’ stripes and the cheetahs’ spots. But when a mutation in the single gene (called Taqpep) occurs, the tabby will develop patches, not stripes, and the cheetah’s spots become wide stripes. The biggest question remains: What is the biological and evolutionary significance of this mutation?