The Thrilling Nature of the Cheetah

The Cheetah is a large cat native to Africa and Central Iran.

[Photo Credit: Freepik]

The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is the fastest land animal, projected to be capable of running at 80 to 128 km/h. The Cheetah lives in three main social groups which includes Females and their cubs, male coalitions and solitary males.

The Cheetah is a lightly built, spotted felid characterized by a small rounded head, a short snout, black tear-like facial streaks, a deep chest, long thin legs and a long tail, with a slender, canine-like form that is highly adapted for speed.

Internally, the liver, adrenal glands, lungs, bronchi, nasal passages and heart are all large to permit intense physical activity. The large nasal passage ensures fast flow of sufficient air while the heart and lungs allow the enrichment of blood with oxygen in a short time. This allows cheetahs to rapidly regain stamina after a chase.

The female Cheetahs lead a wandering life searching for prey in large home ranges, while males are more sedentary and instead establish much smaller territories in areas with abundant preys and access to females. Male Cheetahs are larger and heavier than females, but not so noticeable like in other large cats.

Cheetahs are mainly active during the day with peaks during dawn and dusk. They feed on small to medium sized prey like impala, rabbits, small antelopes and gazelles. Usually, they stalk their prey within 60-70 m, charges towards it, trips it during the chase and bites down on its throat to suffocate it to death.

Interestingly, Cheetahs breed throughout the year, with a gestation of nearly three months. They give birth to three to four cubs at once, but the cubs are highly vulnerable to larger carnivores like lions and Hyenas.

The Cheetah is threatened by habitat loss, poaching, and conflict with humans.




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Written by Monsurat

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