Facts and Knowledge:
The cheetah is the fastest of all land mammals, sprinting over 60 miles per hour its prey. It is no match for a gun however, and it was long hunted for its fur gaining protection. The cheetah is easeily distinguished from other big cats buy its lithe build, small head, and long legs. These features, together with it large lungs, are perfect adaptations for high speed chases after antelope in the African grasslands that are its home..
Habits: The male and female cheetah have different lifestyles. The female spends up to 20 months looking after each little of cubs. She lives an otherwise solitary life. She is not aggressive to other cheetahs, preferring retreat to attack. Nor is she territorial, although herrange may over lap with those of other females. The male is rarrly solitary. He lives and hunts in all male group of four or five animals. The group may be brothers from the same litter that stay together for life. Fiercely territorial, of an established group, fights occur, sometimes resulting in the death of an intruder. The females scent tells a male when she is seually receptive, although once the male has picked up her scent the pair communicate using a series of calls.
Breeding: The cubs may be born at any time of the year. After mating the males leaves the female, who rears the young when they are born, about three months later. The cubs are born in a den and are blind and helpless for about 11 days. Once thir eyes open the mother carries them to different dens every few days. These moves ensure a clean den and reduce the risk of predators, such as lions, sniffing out the vulnerable cubs. The young are weaned at about three months; then they follow their mother to each kill and share her catch. They leave her after 13 to 20 months but remain together was a litle for a few more months when fully mature. The female leave first, followed by the males, who set off together..
Food & Feeding: The cheetah preys on hoofed animals such as impala and gazelle, as well as hares and rodents. Most big cats lie in wait for prey and pounce when it comes within range, but the cheetah's hunting technique is wholly original. The cheetah first stalks the herd. At the right moment it shows itself and panics the animals into running. The cheetah follows at high speed, usually catching up to its prey within a minute. If forced to run longer than this, the cheetah gives up.
The cheetah does most of its hunting during the day when other preditors are sleeping. This is probley because the cheetah is easily frightened off its food, even vultures can force a cheetah to abandon its kill. The cheetah often drags its prey to a safe place and eats it fill. It them leaves the remains to other animals.
Key Facts:Sizes, Weight, breeding, lifestyle,
Length: Head and body up to 5 ft, tail up to 2 ft.
Weight: 100 to 150lbs
Sexual Maturity: 20-24 months
Mating: Throughout the year..
Gestation: 90 to 95 days
No of Young: Litter up to 8 cubs
Lifestyle: Habit: Female solitary, males
lives in small groups.
Diet:Antelope; also hares, rodents, sometimes larger prey such as zebra.
Life span: About 12 years, in the wild, more in captivity
Related Species: An endangered subspeicies of the cheetah, Acinonyz jubatus venatiecus, lives in Asia.
Distribution: Found mainly in South and East Africa, the Middle East , and southern Asia.
Conservation: The cheetah is a cvulnerable speiciaes. Once widely shot for its fur, the cheetah now suffers more from loss of both habitat and prey. The cheetah became extinct in India in the 1950's Less than 30,000 remian in Africa.
How the Cheetah catches its prey:
Stalking its prey.
The cheetah follows at highspeed, usually catching up with its prey within a minute. It leaps up and within a minute. It leaps up and brings down the prey with its forepaws.
The cheetah suffocates its prey by closing its jaws on the animals windpipe. It then drags the carcass to a safe place to be eaten, away from other predators.
When stalking a sincle prey the cheetah emerges from cover in order sto startle the animal into running. Other big cats use attacks that combine surprise, ambush, and hunting in a pack.
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