Cheetah is a fine looking large cat. He is a fast runner. Because he cannot roar, Cheetah is not a member of the 'big cat' family. It is very sad that there are so few alive today.
Cheetah has been around for four million years. Fossils have been found all over Earth from Texas to China. About 10,000 years ago, following the last ice age, most Cheetahs were destroyed.
Some zoologists, or scientists who study animals, think that a few members of only one Cheetah family survived, the A. jubatus. Today he is called the "true" Cheetah.
Anatomy –Head-to-Toe Cheetah
This fine large cat has a body built for speed. He is long and lean, with a long tail. His tail helps with balance. His back legs are powerful and claws that grip the ground help him go faster.
Black spots are sprinkled over his prickly yellow fur, like pepper on your scrambled eggs. Spots help him blend with the environment, so that he can't be seen when hunting for food. His stomach and throat is white. He has black rings around his tail, except the tip, which is white and fluffy.
Cheetah has a small head and small teeth. A fascinating feature is the black "tear marks". Each tear mark runs from the inner corner of his eye, down the nose to the corner of his mouth. Tear marks help Cheetah see a really long way and keep the sun from blinding him.
Adults reach about 32 inches in height; weigh from 80-140 pounds; are about 4-5 feet long and his tail is around 28-32 inches long.
Gender – About Males and Females
The She-Cheetah is just a little smaller than the male. If you could visit their home land, the female would be the one with wee cubs trailing behind her.
Baby Cheetahs – We Meet the Wee Cubs
A She-Cheetah has from two to five baby cubs. They can't see, are about 11.8 inches long and weigh around 0.6 pounds. In about 4-10 days, their eyes open and teeth appear. Cubs are born with grayish fur and silvery hair that looks like a lion's mane on their neck and shoulders.
It is believed the mane-like hair helps the babies to hide in grass so that hyenas or lions won't take them home for dinner. Like all moms, the She-Cheetah worries about her little ones. She moves the cubs from place-to-place to keep them safe.
But, she has to leave her babies alone while she hunts for food. It is sad, but true that around 75% of cubs only live about three months. When the cubs can eat meat, the mom teaches them how to hunt.
They stay with their mom about 18 months to two years before they set about to make their own way. Brothers will live together for life. Sisters will live alone because females only live with cubs, not with other Cheetahs.
Types of Cheetahs – Sub-Species of True Cheetahs
The main difference in types of Cheetahs is in their coloring. It changes according to where they live.
The Asiatic Cheetah lives in Iran, maybe also in Afghanistan and Pakistan. They are very, very rare. Estimates at present show 70Asiatic Cheetahs still living. In Iran, the weather is...