A Northwest African cheetah is a subspecies of cheetah that is native to the Saharan and North African region. Male and female Northwest African cheetahs can be identified by their black spots that create a broken stripe effect. A male cheetah will usually have thicker stripes than a female, as well as bigger forelimbs and larger heads.
The Northwest African cheetah is smaller than other subspecies such as the East African cheetah since it evolved to live in an area where food is scarce, but still has large paws so it can run fast over hot terrain for short distances. It has large nostrils so that they may breathe more efficiently while running at high speeds. Its claws are not retractable like most cats, which means they must wear down as the cheetah runs. This is done by running on soft sand, which is much harder than the hard-paved surfaces that most other cats typically run on.
Northwest African cheetahs have pale fur with black spots, a white underbelly and black "tear marks" from their eyes to their mouth. They have a small head and ears with a relatively short tail.