Looking for Cheetah Facts? Well, you are not alone. Cheetahs have been an interest for all the people in the words particularly with kids and people who love associating themselves with speed. This article will put some lights on some of the most interesting facts about cheetah- one of the most exciting cat species.
Difference Between Cheetah and Leopard:
There is a major difference between Cheetahs and Leopards. Cheetahs should not be mistaken for Leopards. They possess tear lines, which run from the corner of its eye till their mouth are absent in Leopards. Also unlike Leopards, they do not have rosette-like spots. The body frame of a cheetah is also thinner than a Leopard.
Interesting Cheetah Facts
The word “Cheetah” is derived from Sanskrit word of chitrakayah meaning having a variety of colors. They are the sole member of their genus (Acinonyx). The rest of the species have become extinct.
- Scientific Name of Cheetah is Acinonyx jubatu.
Cheetahs originated over 4 million years ago. That’s long before any of the other big cats of today.
An adult cheetah can weigh up to 20 to 70 kg while its length varies from 110 to 150cm. Though males tend to be little larger than the females and have a slightly larger head, it is very difficult to distinguish between males and females just by appearance alone.
What Do Cheetahs Eat?
Like all other cats, cheetahs are also carnivorous. They eat mostly mammals like gazelles. Sometimes they hunt wildebeest or zebras when hunting in groups.
Males tend to live in small groups of 2-3 individuals, usually brothers. They are extremely territorial and mark their territory by urinating on objects like dogs.
Unlike other cats or their male counterpart, female Cheetahs are solitary and do not establish territories. They always hunt alone(though sometimes cubs join their mother to learn hunting).
Cheetahs can live up to 12 years in wild and 20 years in captive condition. Males reach maturity at the age of 1 year whereas for a female it is 20 to 22 months.
How Fast Can A Cheetah Run?
Before we move forward here is the most interesting cheetah fact. Cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world. Cheetah speed can reach up to 113km/h. And what more, they can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just 3 seconds.
The paws of a cheetah have semi-retractile claws. It helps in better grip in a high-speed chase. The dewclaw is much shorter and straighter than other members of their cat family.
Cheetah uses its tail as a rudder during a sharp turn in its chase to catch a prey. They are the only big cat that can turn in mid-air while sprinting. They possess large nostrils to allow increased oxygen intake during running. Enlarged heart and lungs to circulate efficient oxygen supply.
Running on high speed puts much strain on their bodies. While sprinting the body temperature elevates very quickly. So if they fail to catch their prey quickly they have to give up the chase.
Cheetah speed can reach up to 113km/h. And what more, they can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just 3 seconds. Click To Tweet
Unlike other cats, Cheetahs are born with their characteristic spots. They are native to Africa and Asia.
Cheetah can not roar like other cats, 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.
A cheetah has a 50% chance of losing its kill to other predators. That is why they eat immediately after killing its prey. They usually avoid fighting with other carnivores and surrender its kill even to a single hyena.
Cheetahs are caring, affectionate and dedicated mothers. They spend a long time caring for their cubs and teaching them essential survival skills like hunting. Cheetah cubs typically stay with their mothers for one and a half to two years.
In ancient time (3000 BC) cheetahs have been tamed by the human. They have been used as pets and trained for hunting purposes. This trend initiated in ancient Egypt and then subsequently followed to Persia and India.
Cheetahs are included in the list of vulnerable species by IUCN. Cheetah cubs have high mortality rates (90% of their cubs died in the early weeks of their rearing). Low genetic diversity, predation by other carnivores, birth defects along with a loss of habitat and poaching are the cause for their low counts.
Hope this reading has been enjoyable for you. If you want to add any more cheetah facts please feel free to let me know. I would be posting a lot of interesting facts about different animals, so keep visiting.
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