Q:

What are the main body parts of a cheetah?

A:

Quick Answer

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.

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Full Answer

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.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    What is a baby cheetah called?

    A:

    According to the Smithsonian National Zoological Park, baby cheetahs are called cubs, similarly to other large, wild felines such as lions and tigers. About.com adds that cheetahs are usually born in litters of three to five cubs.

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  • Q:

    What is a male cheetah called?

    A:

    A male cheetah is simply called a male cheetah. Likewise, female cheetahs are referred to as female cheetahs. Young cheetahs are called cubs and typically stay with their mother until they are about 1 year old.

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  • Q:

    How does a cheetah defend itself?

    A:

    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.

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  • Q:

    What is the lifespan of a cheetah?

    A:

    Cheetahs typically have an average lifespan of between 10 and 12 years in the wild. The cheetah has a poor survival outlook as a cub, because as many as 90 percent of all cheetah cubs die before reaching three months old, usually falling victim to lions and hyenas.

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