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Facts about Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) - Big Cat That Cannot Roar

Updated on June 3, 2016
The scientific name for cheetah is Acinonyx jubatus
The scientific name for cheetah is Acinonyx jubatus
Cheetah is the fastest land animal on earth
Cheetah is the fastest land animal on earth
Cheetah kills gazelle
Cheetah kills gazelle
Cheetah tear lines
Cheetah tear lines

Cheetahs are part of the big cat family.

Cheetahs are one of the big cats that cannot roar.

The scientific name for cheetah is Acinonyx jubatus.

Cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world. Its slender, long-legged body is built for speed.

Cheetahs can reach a top speed of aruond 113 km per hour. This incredible runner can accelarate from 0 to 113 km in just a few seconds.

Although cheetahs are extremely fast but they cannot run at full speed for long distances (because it may overheat), 92 meters is about the limit.

When they are running, the tails of cheetahs are used to help the animal steer and turn in the direction they want to go.

Only half of the chases, which last frm 20 to 60 seconds are successful.

After the intense chase, the cheetah is usually panting heavily and its body temperature can reach 41 degrees Celcius (105 degrees Fahrenheit). After about 25 minutes, the cheetah’s breathing and temperature return to normal.

Cheetahs eat mainly gazelles, impalas, wildebeest calves and smaller hoofed animals.

After the prey is caught and killed, cheetahs must eat very quickly before other bigger or more aggressive animals approach them.

Cheetahs only need to drink once every four or three days.

Cheetahs have tan-color coat with black spots all over their bodies.

One way to always recognise cheetahs is by their black lines which run from inside of each eye to their mouth (these lines are called ‘tear lines’). It is believed that the lines help protect the animal’s eyes from the harsh sun and help cheetahs to see long distances.

Cheetahs have impressive eyesight – they can spot prey from about 5 km away.

While leopards and lions often do their hunting at night, cheetahs like to hunt for their food during the day. They hunt mostly during the late morning or early evening.

Cheetahs are not well designed to protect their prey or themselves. When a more aggressive or larger animal aproaches a cheetah, it often give up its catch in order to avoid a fight.

Cheetahs cannot climb trees and have poor night vision.

Cheetahs make distinct facial expressions to signal their mood.

A litter of cubs is usually between two and five.

Only male cheetahs are territorial and ‘mark’ in the wild. Female cheetahs are solitary while males often live in small permanent groups called coalitions.

Full-grown cheetahs are about 1.2 meters (4 feet) long, not including a 76cm (30-inch) tail. They weigh about 34 – 66 kilograms (75 – 145 pounds) and are 0.6 – 0.9m (2 – 3 feet) tall at the shoulder.

Historically cheetahs were found throughout Asia and Africa from India to South Africa. These big cats are now confined to parts of central, eastern and southwestern Africa and a small portion of Iran.


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