The main body parts of a cheetah are the distinct spotted coat, dark curved lines extending from the inner corners of their eyes to the outside of their nose, and their slender bodies. When compared to the true big cats, the cheetah has a smaller head and ears. It has long legs and a long tail, which acts as a rudder during bursts of speed.Know More
The cheetah is considerably smaller than any member of the big cats category, which includes the tiger, lion, jaguar and leopard, in order of size. The cheetah's slender build is maximized for reaching tremendous speeds. Capable of reaching 70 mph, it is the fastest land animal on Earth. These high speeds are possible, in part, because of the cheetah's long legs.
In addition to its speed, the cheetah has excellent balance while traveling at the high speeds necessary to catch its quick prey. The long tail enables the cat to anticipate and match escape attempts by its prey, so that the cheetah is rarely thrown off-course by rapid changes in direction. All of its body parts, especially the slender build, long legs and tail, work together to enable the cheetah to catch more agile prey.Learn more about Large Cats
With light slender bodies, long legs and a very flexible spine for maximum stride length, cheetahs are built for speed. They run on the tips of their toes, and their claws are only partially retractable, being used for traction rather than as weapons as with other cats. A cheetah's adaptations make it the fastest animal on land, capable of reaching speeds near 70 miles per hour in only three seconds.Full Answer >
A cheetah protects itself by using its speed, hunting in the early morning or evening instead of at night, dragging prey to concealment, and eating quickly before other predators intrude. Sometimes young male cheetahs in groups called coalitions get together to drive away larger predators.Full Answer >
Newborn cheetahs remain hidden until they are 5 or 6 weeks old. During the next year, the young cubs learn life skills like hunting from their mom. They wean around 3 months old, but they stay with their mom until they are 1 1/2 to 2 years old. Cheetahs may live up to 17 years, with eight to 12 years being the average.Full Answer >
The cheetah is not as large and strong as most other predators, it defends itself by avoiding confrontation and surrendering its prey to other animals. If attacked, an adult cheetah can also use its speed to outrun other animals. Cheetah cubs protect themselves by hiding in thick bush.Full Answer >