Editor's Picks

03 March 2011

Amazing facts: Cheetah The Fastest Land Animal

"There are signs for the believing nation in the creation of their (own) selves, and the creation of the animals He has scattered (across the world)." [Quran 45:4]

Bio Data of Cheetah

Speed: 0-112 Km/h
Sizes: Head and body-4.3-4.9 ft :Tail-2 to 2.5 ft.
Shoulder Height:2.3-2.8 ft
Weight: 75-150 lbs.
Lifestyle: Female solitary; male lives in small groups
Diet: Gazelles and other antelope; also hares, rodents, gamebirds and sometimes larger prey such as the zebra.
Lifespan: Up to 12 years in the wild, longer in captivity
Breeding: Sexual Maturity:20-24 months
Mating Season: Throughout the year
Gestation: 90-95 days
Litter Size: Up to 8, but usually 2 to 5 cubs

A Cheetah cab accelerate from 0-70 km/h in under 2 seconds
There's nothing faster than a cheetah on the hunt. The maximum speed is of 112 km (70 miles) per hour, but the average hunting speed is still of 72-90 km (46-56 mi) per hour.

No living or extinct animal runs or used to run at such speeds. How can this be possible? The cheetah is a very special cat, with specific design.

First, the claws of the cheetah are semiretractile (they do not retract completely into their pads, like in the other cats), functioning like crampons during the race. The paw's cushions have transversal folds that increase adherence to the ground. The fact that the long tail acts like a rudder during the run helps cheetah overcome preys running in zig zag by making quick turns at amazing speeds.

Body Features

The cheetah's spine is extremely elastic, working like a spring. Also, compared with the limbs of other cats, those of the cheetah are extremely long and thin, designed for running, possessing very lax articulations to the body (at the hip and shoulder), fact that allows them to make large steps. The skeleton of a cheetah is also very light. The elastic spine and the long legs allow the cheetah to make successive jumps 7 m (23 ft) in length each and in 2 seconds a cheetah has already reached 70 km per hour and in 3 even 110 km (that's faster than most cars can do!). Its most rapid preys, the gazelles, do not overcome 80 km (50 mi) per hour.

During the race, the number of breathing movements booms from 16 per minute to 156. But the cheetah cannot stand a run more than about 800 m (0.5 miles). The weak point of the cheetah is that the cat cannot expel rapidly enough the accumulated heat and it gets overheated. Cheetah's heart is one third of a human one, related to body's proportions, fact that also explains cheetah's lower stamina.

Hunting Features

Fur:Their fur is kind of tawny and a kind of a buff color. This design can camouflage very easily since their fur is the color of the grass. This makes it easier for them to hunt their prey. On the males there is more of a kind of mane on them. The most common way to identify the cheetah is by the long tear drop stripe that runs from the corner of their eyes to the corners of their mouths. There are also various different rings and some white fur on the tip of the tail. This is another one of it's distinct features. They have medium sized black spots (there is also actually a indistinct black spot inside also). These spots are also like the human finger print. There are never two cheetahs who have the same spots.

Eye sight: The best sense of the cheetah is its sight: it can detect a gazelle offspring in the grass from a distance of over 500 m (0.3 miles)

Attack Mode:The cheetah selects an animal isolated from the herd (a gazelle or an impala) and usually catches it in the first 500-600 m (0.25-0.35 mi). The female insists more on chasing the prey. If the prey gets an advantage of 20 seconds, the cheetah renounces. After that the cheetah is totally

exhausted and needs 30 minutes to recover. Not only that the cheetah cannot feed now from the freshly killed prey, but any medium or large predator can steal its prey, from leopards and hyenas to lions.

When the running cheetah reaches the prey, it will hamper its victim. In the case of larger prey, it will apply a swift blow with the front legs in the bottom or the flank of the prey. The fallen victim is immobilized and suffocated. Sometimes, cheetahs can play with their prey.

Cheetahs have shorter upper canine teeth, which make way for enlarged nostrils which permit a good ventilation of the huge lungs after the race and while suffocating the victim. No need to mention that cheetah has huge lungs and heart compared to other cats.


Cheetahs can kill from rabbits and bat eared foxes (during the dry season) to preys of 150 kg (400 pounds), like zebras and wildebeest, when they are in groups. A cheetah needs 6 kg (15 pounds) of meat daily but they never turn back to the killed prey from which they consumed. This cat will never touch carrion, even fresh ones.


Cheetahs are sexually mature at the age of 2 years, and the female has cubs once at two years, on average 4 (rarely up to 8). The females leave scent messages when they are in heat; males too leave scent messages. The sexes attract also each other through short calls. The mating pair can spend one week together.

The cubs are cared by the female for 15-18 months, a period when they must learn hunting from the mother. A cheetah has a lot to learn until turning into a fastest killer machine.
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