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The Cheetah. Acinonyx jubatus. By Mr. Kibbe. General Description. The cheetah is the fastest land mammal and has a spotted coat, a small head, and claws that never fully retract. Cheetahs usually weigh 75-150 pounds, are 4.3-4.9 feet long, and live up to 12 years.

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the cheetah
The Cheetah

Acinonyx jubatus

By Mr. Kibbe

general description
General Description
  • The cheetah is the fastest land mammal and has a spotted coat, a small head, and claws that never fully retract.
  • Cheetahs usually weigh 75-150 pounds, are 4.3-4.9 feet long, and live up to 12 years.
  • Cheetahs, part of the cat family, are found in the savanna grasslands and semi-arid deserts of Africa. They live in flat, open spaces to take advantage of their speed.
food feeding
Food & Feeding
  • Cheetahs hunt a wide variety of prey, including hares and gamebirds, but prefer larger herbivores such as gazelles and impalas.
  • If it can, the cheetah chooses a sick, young, or old animal, or one that has strayed from the herd. Sometimes 2 or 3 males hunt together.
  • Cheetahs will sprint after their prey for a few seconds and will then give up. They are probably successful in 1 out of 10 hunts.
reproduction
Reproduction
  • Cheetahs are sexually mature between 20-24 months and can breed all year long.
  • After mating, the male leaves, and the female is responsible for raising the young.
  • The female is pregnant for 90-95 days and gives birth to 2 to 5 young. Females can have offspring every 17-20 months
  • Cubs are born blind, helpless and unusually small.
lifestyle
Lifestyle
  • Males live and hunt in all-male groups, usually with brothers from the same litter.
  • Males are very territorial and will fight an intruder to the death.
  • Females lead a solitary life, except for the 20 months that they spends looking after each litter of cubs. Females are not aggressive nor are they territorial.
interesting facts
Interesting Facts
  • The cheetah can sprint up to 70 miles per hour for a few seconds.
  • The cheetah can accelerate to top speed in about 3 seconds.
  • At full stretch in pursuit of prey, it can cover almost 33 feet in a single stride.
  • Female cheetahs catch live prey for their cubs to use as hunting practice.
  • Its 2-2.5 foot-long tail gives it balance while running and turning at high speeds.