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Look! A cheetah! Although most of you may think this is how the cheetah has always looked, you are wrong!
Jean Baptiste de Lamarck was one of the first scientists to discover that living things change over time, and that organisms are able to adapt to their environment. He had a theory on how this is possible.
Hundreds of years ago, the cheetah didn't have a tail, or the grippy pads on it's feet. Instead, it had wings that were completely useless to the cheetah.
Without the long tail, the cheetah had very poor balance and would often fall off of logs they would walk across, and cut their paws.
The cheetah's wings that are useless to them, eventually disappeared, known as the "Law of use and Disuse"
Stepping on several rocks allowed the cheetahs paws to toughen up, developing pads on them for traction.
After a lot of time stretcing and pushing it's butt out, the cheetah developed a long tail to help it balance.
All of these adaptations the cheetah made to make their lives easier was inherited by their offspring. This is known as the "Law of Acquired Characteristics".
Jean Baptiste de Lamarck's theory has been proven untrue, and Darwin's Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection is what is currently believed to be true.
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