The cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world, reaching speeds of up to 113km/h. They can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just 3 seconds.
All about the Cheetah
- The cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world, reaching speeds of up to 113km/h. They can accelerate from 0 to 100km/h in just 3 seconds.
- When running, cheetahs use their tail to steer, like a rudder for a boat.
- Cheetahs are the only big cat that can turn in mid-air while sprinting.
- Cheetahs do not roar like lions, however they do have a range of other meaningful vocalisations such as purring, growling and a variety of contact calls which resemble bird-like chirping sounds.
- Female cheetahs select a lair, either a rocky outcrop or marshy area with tall grass, before giving birth to their cubs. Mothers only leave the cubs to hunt, before returning to nurse the young. Males do not help with the rearing of young.
- Females are solitary, whereas males tend to live in small groups of 2-3 individuals, usually brothers.
- Cheetahs make distinct facial expressions to signal their mood.
- In Native American symbology, the cheetah represents swiftness, insight and focus.
- The cheetah evolved into a distinct species over 4 million years ago. That’s long before any of the other big cats of today.
- Cheetahs are caring, affectionate and dedicated mothers. They spend a long time caring for their cubs and teaching them essential survival skills like hunting. Cubs typically stay with their mothers for one and a half to two years.
- Type: Mammal (Felidae)
- Diet: Carnivore
- Lifespan in the wild: Around 10-12 years
- Size: 1.1-1.4m; Tail 65-80cm
- Weight: 35-65 kg
- Habitat: Grasslands, savannahs and mountain terrain
- Range: Sub-Saharan Africa, Southwest Asia, India and the Middle-East
- Scientific name: Acinonyx jubatus