Animals

Cheetah | Amazing Facts

Cheetah

25 Amazing Facts about Cheetah | Amazing Facts 4U

  1. The cheetah originated over 4 million years ago. That’s long before any of the other big cats of today.
  2. The cheetah is in fact the fastest land animal in the world, reaching speeds of up to 113km/hr (70 Miles/ Hr). They can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just 3 seconds taking strides of 8 meters.
  3. Cheetahs are smaller than other members of the big cat family, weighing only 45 to 60 kilograms at full size.
  4. It can grow to be 5 feet long, not including the tail, which can also be an additional 3 feet in length. Cheetahs only stand about 2 or 3 feet high. The male cheetahs are typically taller than the females, and also have slightly bigger heads.
  5. One way to always recognize a cheetah is by the long, black lines which run from the inside of each eye to the mouth. These are called “tear lines” and they help protect the cheetah’s eyes from the harsh sun and help them to see long distances. Their smaller stature and small, flat heads also set them apart.
  6. The fur is very short, which is helpful when running at high speeds. It also provides camouflage, making it easier for the cheetah to hunt its prey.
  7. When running, cheetahs use their tail to steer, like a rudder for a boat. Cheetahs are in fact the only big cat that can turn in mid-air while sprinting.
  8. They run so fast and stride so long, that only one foot at a time touches the ground. All its power comes from the back. The cheetah’s hind limbs have muscles and fibers suited to power running, whereas those on its fore limbs are better for steering and balance.
  9. Cheetahs can only maintain the sprint for about half a minute before burning out. With this limiting factor, they try to get as close as possible to their prey.
  10. The respiratory rate of the cheetah is about 100 breaths per minute. This occurs at higher rates while it is chasing its prey, allowing it to sustain itself in a chase.
  11. The only time a cheetah cannot capture its prey is when it is able to go in the trees. Unlike domestic cats, and some larger ones, it is unable to climb trees.
  12. There are many cats, large and small, that are able to defend themselves when they are attacked. The cheetah is designed to be on the offense, not defense, and therefore if a larger animal comes after the prey it has captured, it will run instead of fight.
  13. Their natural habitat is mostly central to Africa, and even North Western Asia, but some have been spotted in Iran.  Namibia, is an excellent location for the cheetah. The cheetah once abundant became extinct from India’s forests in 1952.
  14. It is known for its beautiful spots that cover its entire body . It has a long tail that ends with bushy white fur  and has extremely long legs.
  15. Another unique part of the cheetah is the fact that it has semi-retractable claws. Only three other cats have these types of claws, and allow the cheetah to have a better chance of gripping its prey.
  16. The two main advantages that the cheetah has over other animals in its natural habitat is its speed, and also its agility.
  17. In a similar way to smaller cats, especially domestic cats, cheetahs make a purring sound. They are the only large cat that is incapable of roaring, something that is found with lions, tigers and Jaguars.
  18. The cheetah is also similar to smaller cats in the way that it hunts for its prey. Larger cats typically hunt for their food in the evening hours, but cheetahs hunt for everything during the day because of their exceptional eyesight which is able to help them see animals up to 3 miles away. However they  have poor night vision.
  19. Unlike most animals that need to drink water on a regular basis, especially felines, the cheetah only needs to drink one time every four days. It is because of how its metabolism functions allowing it to go long spans without any type of liquid.
  20. The cheetah has adapted over many years to be able to hunt and live in Africa. It is able to run fast speeds for short distances because of the structure of its legs. Wide nostrils and large lungs combined with a powerful heart and strong arteries provide more oxygen to their muscles which allows it to run faster and longer than most other animals its size. Their huge leg muscles mainly consist of fast twitch fibers, which contract faster than normal muscles.
  21. Cheetahs are becoming more endangered as mankind continues to encroach upon its habitat and also they are hunted for their fur by poachers.
  22. Cheetahs do not roar like lions, however they do have a range of other meaningful vocalizations such as purring, growling and a variety of contact calls which resemble bird-like chirping sounds.
  23. Female cheetahs give birth to around three cubs at a time. They are very vulnerable to predators such as large eagles, lions, hyenas, and baboons. Only about 10% survive.
  24. The cubs that survive start following their mother at around 6 weeks. Cheetahs are caring, affectionate and dedicated mothers. They spend a long time caring for their cubs and teaching them essential survival skills like hunting.  After a year and a half, their mother leaves them to breed again. The cubs stay together until the females reach sexual maturity at around two years.
  25. Group of cheetah forming a group is called a coalition which is beneficial  for male cheetahs to gain territory. Females are solitary, whereas males tend to live in small groups of 2-3 individuals, usually brothers.

By Amazing Facts 4U Team

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