While seven subspecies of cheetah have been identified, five subspecies are considered valid by most taxonomists. These are Acinonyx jubatus venaticus, Acinonyx jubatus hecki, Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringii, Acinonyx jubatus raineyii and Acinonyx jubatus raddei.Know More
The cheetah belongs to the cat family Felidae, which evolved in the Miocene epoch approximately 20 million years ago. The early species, known as Acinonyx pardinensis, was larger than the modern cheetah and migrated from North America to Asia, India, Europe and Africa about 200,000 years ago where it evolved into its present form. The cheetah narrowly survived a time of mass extinction during the Pleistocene era about 10,000 years ago, after which its population gradually increased.
The cheetah differs in both anatomy and behaviour from the other 36 species of the Felidae family. It is the fastest land mammal over short distances, and it is the only cat with semi non-retractable claws that grip the ground for traction when running. The cheetah is identified by the long tear-drop-shaped lines on each side of the nose from the corner of its eyes to its mouth. They live throughout the drier parts of sub-Saharan Africa in a variety of habitats, from grasslands and savannas to more mountainous terrain.Learn More
Cheetahs are terrestrial animals, and they often seek shelter in the shade of trees after sunset. They choose trees where they feel secure and have less potential of encountering a predator in the middle of the night. They may climb tree limbs and settle there for the night.Full Answer >
The cheetah is endangered due to a combination of genetic frailties and the adverse effects of a dwindling habitat. The species has also been decimated by farmers seeking to protect their herds.Full Answer >
A group of cheetahs is called a coalition. Coalitions are typically groups of two to three males, and they are often formed between brothers and rarely include unrelated male cheetahs.Full Answer >
Cheetahs use their incredible speed to catch their prey. While cheetahs will eat just about any animal they can catch, some of their primary prey species include Thomson’s gazelles and impala. Cheetahs evolved a number of adaptations that allow them to catch these swift animals, including non-retractable claws, streamlined bodies and very large lungs. These adaptations allow cheetahs to run faster than any other living species.Full Answer >