Cheetah (Acinonyx Jabotus)

Cheetahs live in the African Savannah. They live in the Sub Sahara Africa as well as the North African regions. They live in the open Savannah where there are few trees. They need the open fields in order to hunt as they base their success on their immense speed. Cheetahs do not live in trees.

The cheetah has black tear lines down the fronts of its eyes, this is so that the sun does not reflect off the fur in the front of its face and blind it. Football players have been known to copy this adaptation. The spots on the cheetah allow it to camouflage to its prey. The cheetah is built for enormous speed and can travel up to 60 mph for 20 to 60 seconds. This speed also requires that the cheetah run in an almost straight line. This allows it to catch prey in the open Savannah. Unlike a lot of cats cheetahs are awake and active during the day, this means that they will run into less predators that are nocturnal.

Cheetahs are solitary animals except for when they are with cubs. They are polygamous. After 90 to 98 days of pregnancy the female will have 1 to 6 cubs however the most common is 3 or 4. After 3 to 4 months the cubs have been weaned and after 14 to 18 months they will leave their mother. Brothers however will stay together for most of their life. The mother communicates with her young with a series of chirps and calls and recognizes them with their scent.

Cheetahs will usually attack smaller ungulates such as antelope because of their own smaller size. They will also feed on small mammals such as rabbits and mice, or small birds and reptiles when necessary. Cheetahs must compete with lions, leopards, hyenas and vultures for food, and after they make a kill they are usually chased off by one of these predators for their food. Because of their smaller size they cannot afford to fight with a larger predator such as a lion. Cheetah cubs are at a huge risk of attack by lions and a huge factor in a cheetah cub's death is being attacked by a lion. Lions attack cheetahs because they are competition for food. Humans are also known to hunt cheetahs because they sometimes attack livestock.

Body Length 1.12 - 1.35 metres
Tail Length 0.66 - 0.84 metres
Wingspan N/A
Life Span 8.00 - 12.00 years
Weight 39.01 - 64.86 kilograms