Skip to main content

Cheetah

Profile with "Tearmarks"
The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is the only living member of it's genus and is found in populations across east and south Africa, though they historically had a much wider range that spread throughout Asia. Other, now extinct members of the genus, including the Giant Cheetah, spread into Europe as well. Cheetahs have long, slender bodies, and are smaller in size than many other big cats. Their top weight is around 140lbs (64kg).

Leopards, Jaguars, and Cheetahs are all spotted big cats, but Cheetahs are easy to distinguish based on their body shape. They possess deep chests, long legs, and small heads that sport two well defined black "tearmark" streaks that run from the eyes to the snout. The physical features of the Cheetah all serve to enhance their speed and hunting style. For example, they have claws that only partially retract and serve as "cleats" for running traction. Their small heads also have small teeth that allow for larger nasal passages and easier breathing while on the hunt and while in recovery from a chase.

Cheetah Family
Cheetahs are the fastest of all land animals, and also have the unique ability among big cats of being able to turn in midair. They are able to sprint to speeds of up to 70mph (112kph), but can only maintain these chases for a short distance before they get over-exerted. Only about half of all chases result in a successful kill, and they cost the Cheetah a tremendous amount of energy. If prey is caught, the Cheetah kills them by clamping over the mouth and suffocating them. The cat must them consume the meal quickly before larger predators arrive and try to scavenge. One Cheetah fact that I found particularly interesting is that they only need to drink every three or four days!

Female and Male Cheetahs mix only to mate. Females give birth, typically to a littler of three, and those cubs will stay with her for about a year and a half, learning to hunt and survive. Males Cheetahs often live in small groups, typically with their brothers.

Cheetahs are listed as Vulnerable, and it is estimated that there are around 12,000 left in the wild. Habitat loss, human encroachment, loss of prey, and loss of genetic diversity are all threats to the species.

Comments

  1. certainly a fantastic piece of work. it carries data that is in favor of readers.

    www.n8fan.net

    ReplyDelete
  2. This one is a great thought I've been looking for something like this for a while now. Thank you for sharing.

    www.triciajoy.com

    ReplyDelete

Post a Comment

Popular posts from this blog

Bornean Orangutan

The Bornean Orangutan is one of two extant Orangutan species in the world. It is the third largest primate (after Gorillas) and is the largest primarily tree-dwelling animal in the world. Males are substantially larger than females, and average at around 165lbs. Bornean Orangutans are largely solitary. A handful might live within a small range but they will seldom interact with one another. Males and females only meet up to breed, which happens only once every several years. A young Orangutan will stay with it's mother for about five years, and the females tend to go about eight years between births. That is the longest interim period of any animal! Sadly, the Bornean Orangutans are in a lot of trouble. They need large forests in order to thrive, and deforestation and habitat degradation has left many homeless. They are also hunted for meat and for traditional medicines. Conservation areas are being established to help these guys in the wild, and it is believed that there are a

Four!

For anyone who was counting, yesterday was our birthday-- four years! Four years filled with animals from A to Z, more than 1,100 of them! I can't thank my readers enough, it's been wonderful! And in celebration of that milestone... I'm taking a break. Hopefully not forever, but for a little bit at least. In the mean time I plan on getting a new layout out, along with some updates to some of the older articles. I'll post updates here and on the Facebook page, I'm also brainstorming some new animal-related projects, so keep an eye out! Thanks again for four awesome years!

Binturong

The Binturong ( Arctictis binturong ) also has an equally awesome alternate common name, the Bearcat! However, it really isn't much of a bear OR a cat. While it is true that it is part of the Feliforma suborder, it is not a member of family Felidae. Binturongs are a part of their own family, Viverridae, which is shared with Civets, Linsangs, and Genets. There are six subspecies of Binturong, all of which have slight differences based upon location and habitat. Binturongs range in body size from 60-100cm in length, (not including their tail which has roughly the same length) and weigh between 20 and 30lbs. Binturongs are nocturnal animals native to the rain forests of South East Asia. The species range spans through several countries including China, Malaysia, Indonesia and the Philippines. They are tree dwelling mammals, and have fully prehensile tails that basically double their body length and can be used to cling to the trees or to grasp food. Binturongs are phe