Cheetah - Facts

3 Min
Created at 10 / 2012
9.1   Informative
8.9   Entertaining
By Smithsonian Channel
263 Videos
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Amazing Cheetah Facts

Found mostly in the continent of Africa, it is the fastest land animal in the world. Watch this video and learn all the facts about this amazing big cat.

The fastest Animal on Earth

It has been a dominate force in the Animal Kingdom for the past 10 million years. It's the fastest land animal on earth, reaching 75 mph and accelerating from 0-60 mph at an astonishing 3 seconds.
The Cheetah, or Acinonyx jubatus, is a big cat which inhibits most of the African Continent and parts of Iran. With a tan color and black distinctive spots, the Cheetah is a unique marvel of evolution – adapting throughout the years a slender body and an agile spine – constructed specifically for high speed chases.

And the Cheetah commits to these chases with better precision than any other animal in the Savannah – with more that 50% success rate for each and every hunt. (the lion or the tiger, for example, manages to kill once every five attempts).

Cheetah - Hunting technique

The cheetah hunts almost entirely by use of its vision (and not by scent). Is stalks its prey quietly, and then accelerates in an instant. The cheetah usually kills by tripping the prey during the chase, and then attempting to bite its throat and suffocate it.

The Cheetah doesn't waste unnecessary energy - in cases it fails to bring down its prey quickly, it will move over to a different target.

Cheetah - Diet

The Cheetah's main sources of food are species of antelope, gazelles and hares. They are the ultimate victims for the Cheetah's superior anatomy. However, the cheetah's unique small sized body leaves it quite vulnerable against big predators larking around. In fact, the Cheetah is known to eat its prey in a rush in order to avoid confrontation with other large mammals.

Cheetah - Behavior

As a whole, Cheetahs are considered solitary animals, but some males have been known to live (and hunt) in small groups called Coalitions. Male Cheetahs are extremely territorial, while the females usually tend to drift around, sometimes getting impregnated by various males (and raising their cubs on their own).

Cheetah - Endangered species

20,000 years ago the Cheetahs roamed the plains of the four main continents – including Africa, Asia, Europe and North America. Extreme changes in climate, as well as various conflicts with humans (mostly livestock farming) – have casued these elegant creatures to disappear from most of their natural habitats, and become an endangered species

In addition, Cheetahs have also been subjected to brutal hunting (for their beautiful skins), as well as captivity for exhibition at Zoos.

Today, less that 10,000 cheetahs remain in the wild – the majority of them spread in the African countries, and a few dozen critically endangered in Iran. In 1990, the Cheetah Conservation Fund was established in Namibia – aiming to protect the Cheetahs habitat for at least another century. In addition, there have also been some attempts at breeding programs in zoos around the globe, as well as research into strengthening its embryo culture and reproduction techniques.

Amazing Cheetah Fact

Unlike most big cats, Cheetahs are not able to roar. However, Cheetahs can (and do) purr - just like domestic cats!

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