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The Cheetah - World's Fastest Land Animal

Updated on October 22, 2011
Two Cheetahs
Two Cheetahs | Source
Cheetahs Resting
Cheetahs Resting | Source

How fast can cheetahs run?

Cheetah's are the fastest running land animal. They can run about 75 miles an hour, but have been known to run 100 to even 125 miles an hour. This is hard to imagine, you could hardly focus long enough to see it happen!

When stalking their prey however, they like to stalk close. By close I mean about 160 feet or so, or 50 meters. At just the right time, they will race to about 40 miles an hour as if in an instant. A cheetah can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour in about 3 seconds or less. That is incredible.

Are Cheetah's Endangered?

Of the big cats of Africa, did you know that the Cheetah is the most endangered? They used to roam freely over much of Africa and the Middle East, for instance. Now, they are mostly in the eastern or southern portions of Africa. It has been said this is due to hunting cheetahs, and persecution by people. I find that to be so sad, and hope that things continue to change for the better over time. It has been said the numbers are at about 10,000, and dropping.

Long term Study of Cheetahs

You can find many cheetahs in the Serengeti, or Mara ecosystem. It is one of the "hot spots" so to speak for cheetahs. It also happens to be the place where the Serengeti National Park is, and where there is some great long term studies going on of wild cheetahs. They hope to of course help with cheetah conservation over time. They find that while they are wonderful predators, they have many struggles of their own, clearly.

Cheetah Cubs

Cheetah cubs can fall prey to other hunters, as they are blind for up to the first 14 days or so of their life. They have amazing coloring and impressive mantle of fur that stays for about a year or so. They need to be hidden for safety in their early days, and the mother will move them around as needed.

One way to hide them is in tall grass, reeds and thickets. As you can imagine, hyenas, lions and big snakes also can be in these areas. Some lions can be seen combing areas like this for cheetah cubs. A lion is about 4 times the size of a mother cheetah, so she can't do much to help her babies once found by a lion. It has been estimated that only one cheetah survives to full independence. Sometimes in surrounding woodlands, cheetahs will immigrate into these areas. In the woodlands, there are many more places to hide their cubs.

Communication between Cheetahs

I thought it was neat to find out that mother cheetahs and their babies can be very vocal with each other. They are known to use purring, chirping, humming, yelping sounds and contact calls to communicate with each other. Some cheetahs end up living fairly solitary lives, but then some studies show they stay in groups sometimes. It just depends.

Cheetah with Baby
Cheetah with Baby | Source


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    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      CMHypno, I can see why cheetahs are your favorite big cat, that is so cool. I would love to visit Namibia one day, wouldn't that be so cool? I love to travel though, but to see the world and its animals closer up would be awesome.

      Thelyricwriter, Thanks so much for your visit and comment, I really appreciate it. :)

    • thelyricwriter profile image

      Richard Ricky Hale 6 years ago from West Virginia

      up, useful, and interesting. I never knew they could reach speeds like that! That is unbelievable. Also, I did not know that they were endangered in Africa among big cats. Always fun to learn new things. Great review and very interesting:)

    • CMHypno profile image

      CMHypno 6 years ago from Other Side of the Sun

      I love cheetahs, they are my favourite big cats, so thanks for the great information and beautiful photos. Namibia is also supposed to be a great place to see them

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Ktrapp, thank you for your visit and comment. I hear you, about being able to move the quickly on one's feet! It seems impossible. I am amazed by those creatures.

    • ktrapp profile image

      Kristin Trapp 6 years ago from Illinois

      Cheetahs are absolutely breathtaking creatures. And 75 mph is an unbelievable speed. I think of driving that fast and cannot imagine having the ability to move that quickly on my feet.

    • oceansnsunsets profile image

      Paula 6 years ago from The Midwest, USA

      Kennynext, thanks for your comment. I also hope they stay on the Earth for a good long time. Beautiful animals.

      Jennifer Theories, thank you so much! I really appreciate your visit. :)

    • Jennifer Theories profile image

      Jennifer Theories 6 years ago from Canada

      Love it! What a great article. It is simple and right to the point. Anything that gets people thinking about animals in a good way is great with me. Great information too.

    • kennynext profile image

      kennynext 6 years ago from Everywhere

      I hope they stay on Earth for they are a great species.