The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is the fastest of all land mammals in the world.
A small neat head, a small chin, an incredibly light bones and graceful long legs of a cheetah seem to be specially created for easy and elegant speed running.
The maximum speed of a cheetah (in km / h) reaches more than 100.
Cheetahs are representatives of the cat family, although they have many similar traits to dogs. For example, their illnesses are mostly characteristic of dogs. And they hunt, and sit like dogs. And the wool they have like a dog.
The main fur of this animal is sand-colored, it is covered with black spots (except for the belly). And in newborns, the fur is usually darker, and an ashy mane color stretches along their backs from the neck to the tail.
The muzzle of the cheetah is very beautiful and peculiar. This beast is very easy to distinguish by the black bars that descend from the inside of the eyes almost to the edges of the corners of the mouth. It creates the deceptive impression that the animal is crying. These black tears under his eyes help him to increase his vision, reducing his blindness from the bright light of the sun.
Large nostrils can increase the amount of oxygen consumption by the body when running, and the enlarged lungs and heart give it the ability to effectively spread throughout the body. When running, the cheetah’s breathing becomes very fast and reaches 60-150 breaths per 1 minute.
The body length of a cheetah reaches from 112 to 135 cm, the tail - from 66 to 84 cm. The weight of an adult cheetah can exceed 45 kg.
Habits, similarity with cats
The maximum speed of a cheetah is achieved due to its graceful light build.
How are cheetahs like cats? The vague dark spots on their skin strongly resemble the cat's fur color. On the surface of the earth, these animals leave traces, like a cat. They also like to climb various spreading trees.
And they can purr like domestic cats, but can not roar, as the main part of the animals of the cat family.
The maximum speed of a cheetah is achieved in part thanks to strong and long legs. In addition, his paws, armed with claws, deliver a strong blow in such a way that the victim takes off somersault.
Surprisingly, the sounds made by this powerful animal resemble jerky birds chirping. True, they are heard at a distance of almost two kilometers. This allows the cheetah to speak with their children and relatives.
These graceful, but strong animals have a rather soft and peaceful nature. When the cheetah is satisfied, he begins to rumble and purr like a domestic cat. Cheetah can also be tamed, he very quickly gets used to people.
Cheetahs now live in Southwest Asia and Africa. In Asia, small cheetah species are mainly concentrated in Iran (in the North), where environmentalists are trying to somehow protect them and prevent a decrease in their number. They live here usually in spacious areas where there is something to eat. Usually live in more open areas (semi-desert and prairie).
In Africa, they are concentrated only in Namibia (in the savannah). These areas are represented by dense vegetation and more mountainous terrain.
Food and hunting
The cheetah is essentially carnivorous. Basically, his diet consists of gazelles. But he can eat impala, birds, rabbits and young warthogs. And he has his own peculiarity - he eats only his prey, ignores dead animals, even if they have died recently.
The usual hunting time is early morning or late evening. At this time, it is still not very hot, but already quite light.
The success of hunting with cheetahs is about 50%.
When running with inconceivably huge speed, the cheetah receives a large load on the body. Its temperature becomes very high. Therefore, the cheetah, catching prey, is resting.
He usually sits on some hill in the choice of a future victim. Finding prey, approaching it at a distance of 30 m and only then begins to run. Here is the maximum speed of the cheetah.
His amazing abilities allow you to accelerate to 103 km / h in just 3 seconds. Then, having reached the prey, a cheetah kills it (strangles or bites the artery) with a bite in the neck. It is surprising that if the victim is able to hold out and avoid deadly bites for 30 seconds, the cheetah gives in and releases her.
Despite the possession of fantastic speed and skill of hunting, this animal tries to avoid some large predators. He avoids the fight in order to prevent getting any injury. The main strength of this predator is speed. He relies only on her, and injury can reduce his speed.
Usually the cheetah eats quickly. This is due to the fact that slowing down can lead to loss of food. In the fight with other animals, he can lose.
What allows this animal to run so fast?
A lot of goodness is given by nature to this surprisingly fast animal: long slender limbs, thin waist, small head, deep chest cavity and surprisingly flexible back ridge.
The maximum speed of a cheetah can reach up to 114 km / h. With such a speed, he can even run up to 275 meters without a single stop. Thanks to the long tail, a good additional balance is provided with sharp turns at full speed.
Cheetah at the highest speed can run long 6-and even 8-meter jumps. Basically, the maximum speed of the cheetah (photo below) develops due to the unique structure of the legs, similar more to the dog's legs than to the cat's. Long, strong claws maintain balance and stability while running.
Speed capabilities. What is the maximum cheetah speed?
In a short distance, no animal in the world can catch a cheetah. Experiments show that he is able to accelerate to even 84 km / h in just 4 seconds, while the Ferrari car can achieve the same result in speed in 5 seconds. And this is not the limit of the phenomenal possibilities of the beast: the maximum speed of a cheetah (“Hot-cold” is a game on the site “Odnoklassniki”) is still 114 kilometers per hour.
With all this, having such incredible abilities, the cheetah can not achieve record-breaking results over long distances. He spends less than 0.5 seconds (for each) on his long jumps (6-8 meters) while running.
The frequency of his breathing is up to 150 times per minute. There are, of course, deplorable results: having run a couple of hundred meters at great speed, cheetahs can faint and then come to their senses for a long time.
Beautiful, amazing and strong animal fascinates with its ease and grace in running and unusual natural beauty.
Features speed animal cheetah
The males of this cat family are endowed with a small, almost imperceptible mane. She, in fact, they have a beautiful, painted in silver and stretches across the back. But it is only in childhood. After the kittens are born, or rather a few weeks after that, their mane disappears. The ability of retracting claws from these babies also disappears. Now, instead of climbing trees, they have the ability to run fast. And this ability is very important for the future adult runner. After all, it is the claws that give the cheetah the opportunity not to lose balance during his run. And this sprinter has very long slender legs compared to his body. Here he is second only to the South American grizzled wolf, in which this part of their body is even longer. The cheetah has a very tight body, and its back is distinguished by its flexibility. The tail is very long and covered with spots. It is thanks to him that this animal can make very sharp turns at high speed. The structure of the paws of the cheetah allows him to jump at a very high speed with jumps whose length reaches six meters. Thanks to all these unique opportunities, this species of animals is considered the fastest in the world of wildlife.
But the body structure of a cheetah is not all that this sprinter needs for a quick run. The main condition is solid ground under your feet and open spaces. And then he will really be carried like a whirlwind. Just a few seconds and this beast is already running at a speed of 65 km / h. A little more and its speed is already approaching the mark of 115 km / h. True, unbelievable ?! But such a mark he can reach only at short distances.
Speed on 100 meters
In September 2009, a race in which the female of this genus of cats became its winner was held at the Cincinnati Zoo. Sara, that was the name of this cute little cat, ran 100 meters in 6.13 seconds. For this she had three attempts. And so that she did not stray from the route, a special bait was used, similar to that used for dog races. Thus, an eight-year-old female was able to break the previous record, which a cheetah from South Africa had set 8 years earlier. If we compare her speed and the speed of the best human runner Usain Bolt, she was able to overcome a distance of 100 meters even 3 seconds faster.
Cheetahs are very good hunters. You could even say one of the best. And all because they have one distinctive advantage: they have the ability to quickly maneuver. While chasing its prey, the cheetah can turn around very sharply. At this moment, its centripetal acceleration, if expressed in the words of mathematics, develops up to 13 m / s. For comparison: the astronaut during the launch of the rocket is experiencing overload several times less than the cheetah during its maneuver during the hunt. In order to make a sharp jerk to the side, this hunter must have a strong grip. This helps him very strong claws.
Watching these spotted cats, scientists noticed that the average length of their race is approximately 173 meters. But there are times when they have to chase their prey for almost half a kilometer.
Since there is not a lot of reliable data on the cheetah’s instant speed, scientists developed a special collar with a GPS module. In addition, this device is equipped with an accelerometer and gyroscopes. It was these devices that made it possible to unravel the mysteries of the speed of these animals. And now we know that in order to be a perfect hunter, the cheetah is not important speed, and the ability to accelerate.
Previously, scientists studied only those individuals of this cat family, who lived in captivity. Using the bait, they were forced to run forward, without turning anywhere. And in the wild, the opposite is true. A free animal during its hunt to run in a straight line will not. That is why special collars were designed to establish the true speed of cheetahs.
In addition, it became known that for those cheetahs who are kept in captivity, the mass of muscles that take part in the movement (dorsal and limbs) makes up about 45% of the entire body mass of the animal. The same individuals who live in the wild, the value of this indicator is much higher. And this makes them record holders in terms of such indicators as the maximum power density per kilogram of their body weight.
These wild cats are different from their other relatives in that they would rather run after their prey than sit somewhere in ambush, waiting for the right moment. The principle of their hunting is this: they first approach the victim closer and closer, reducing the distance between them to 10 meters. At the same time, they are not particularly hiding. After - a short race at maximum speed and everything, catch caught, hunting was a success. During the pursuit of a potential victim, the cheetah’s speed can reach 115 km / h. It feels as if it is floating above the ground. And this is not surprising, because in 2 seconds it develops a speed greater than Formula 1. No wonder that he is considered the fastest animal of land mammals.
... the submarine "Los Angeles" has improved acoustics, but even this does not allow it to notice the submarine "Cheetah" more than ten kilometers away. But this is very dangerous. Since the nuclear submarine, which was able to sneak up unnoticed, can perform its combat mission without any obstacles.
It is also worth noting that in addition to the ability to approach the enemy with virtually no noise, this “beast” is also very formidable. In his combat arsenal there are more than forty weapons: missiles (underwater, cruise missiles, torpedoes) “Granat”, “Flurry”, “Waterfall” and “Wind”. And this “beast” can bar from min.
In the spring of 2014, following the results of the professional skill contest, “Cheetah” received an award in the form of a passing cup for the commander of the Northern Fleet ...
Cheetah - description, structure, characteristics.
The body of a cheetah is elongated, rather slender and graceful, but, despite the seeming fragility, the beast has well-developed muscles. The legs of the mammal are long, thin and strong, the claws on the paws do not fully retract when walking and running, which is not at all typical of the feline. The head of a cheetah is small, with small, rounded-shaped ears.
Photo author: Vladimír Motyčka
The length of the body of a cheetah varies from 1.23 m to 1.5 m, while the length of the tail can reach 63-75 cm, and the height at withers is 60-100 cm on average. The weight of the cheetah is from 40 to 65-70 kg.
The short, relatively sparse fur of a cheetah is sandy-yellow in color, all over the skin, with the exception of the belly, dark spots of various shapes and sizes are evenly scattered. Sometimes in the area of the head and withers there is a peculiar mane of short, hard hair. On the face, from the inner corners of the eyes to the mouth, there are black stripes - “lacrimal marks”, which help the cheetah to better focus their eyes on prey while hunting, and also reduce the risk of being blinded by bright sunlight.
Where does the cheetah live?
The cheetah is a typical representative of such natural areas as deserts and savanna with even relief. The animal prefers open areas. The cheetah lives mainly in Africa, in countries such as Algeria, Angola, Benin, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, Mozambique, Namibia, Niger, Somalia and Sudan, as well as in Tanzania, Togo, Uganda, Chad, Ethiopia, Central African Republic and South Africa. The predators were also reintroduced in Swaziland. In Asia, the cheetah is practically exterminated and, if it occurs, it is in very small populations (in Iran).
What is the difference between a cheetah and a leopard?
Leopard and cheetah are animals that belong to the class of mammals, the order of prey, the cat family. Leopard belongs to the genus Panther, cheetah - to the genus of cheetahs. There are several differences between these two predators:
- The body of cheetahs and leopards is slender, flexible, the tail is long. The length of the body of a cheetah reaches 123-150 cm, the length of the body of a leopard is 91-180 cm. The length of the tail of a cheetah reaches 63-75 cm, the tail of a leopard is much longer and is 75-110 cm.
- An important difference between a cheetah and a leopard is the speed at which the animals run. The cheetah is faster than a leopard, while chasing prey, the cheetah runs at speeds of up to 112 km / h. Leopard is noticeably slower, its speed at short distances reaches 60 km / h.
- The cheetah almost never takes prey to the tree, and the leopard has such a habit.
- The claws of the leopard are retractable, as in all cats, the cheetah has partially retractable claws.
- The cheetah is a daytime predator, and the leopard prefers to be active at dusk or at night.
- Hunting in the pack for the cheetah is the norm, and the leopard is a single predator.
- On the face of a cheetah there are characteristic black stripes, tear tags that run from the corners of the eyes to the mouth. Leopard has no such tags.
- Spots on the skin of a cheetah are clear, but do not form a strict contour of the drawings. In a leopard, the pattern on the skin is usually assembled into spots in the form of rosettes, and the spots may also be solid.
- Leopard cubs are born with spots on the skin, cheetah kittens have no spots at birth.
- The habitat of the cheetah is savannah and desert, and the predator prefers flat areas. The leopard lives in tropical and subtropical forests, in the mountains, in coastal thickets of rivers, as well as in savannas.
- The modern habitat of the leopard is much wider than that of the cheetah. If the cheetah lives only in African countries, and only a few populations live in Iran, then the leopard is spread not only in African countries south of the Sahara, but also on the islands of Java and Sri Lanka, in Nepal, India, Pakistan, northern and southern China , Bhutan, Bangladesh, in the Far East near the border of Russia, China and North Korea, in Front Asia (Iran, Afghanistan, Turkmenistan, Azerbaijan, Armenia, Turkey, Pakistan, in the North Caucasus of Russia), on the Arabian Peninsula.
Left cheetah, right leopard
Cheetah subspecies, photo and name.
Modern classification identifies 5 subspecies of cheetahs: four of them are inhabitants of Africa, one is very rare in Asia. According to data from 2007, about 4,500 individuals live in African countries. Cheetah is listed in the IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) Red Book.
African cheetah subspecies:
- Acinonyx jubatus hecki – ареал обитания охватывает страны Северо-Западной Африки и Сахары,
- Acinonyx jubatus fearsoni распространен в Восточной Африке,
- Acinonyx jubatus jubatus живет в Южной Африке,
- Acinonyx jubatus soemmerringi – популяции подвида встречаются в Северо-Восточной Африке.
Азиатский подвид гепарда:
- Азиатский гепард (лат. Acinonyx jubatus venaticus) обитает в Иране в провинциях Хорасан, Маркази и Фарс, но популяции этого подвида очень малочисленны. Возможно (факты не подтверждены), несколько особей обитают на территории Пакистана и Афганистана. In total in the wild there are no more than 10-60 individuals. In zoos live 23 Asian cheetahs. The predator is different from the African subspecies: its legs are shorter, the neck is more powerful, the skin is thicker.
Photo by: Behnam Ghorbani
Photo author: N.Farid
Among the typical colors of cheetahs there are exceptions caused by rare genetic mutations. For example, the royal cheetah is so special in color (Eng. King cheetah). Black stripes run along its back, and the sides are decorated with large spots that sometimes merge into one. For the first time, an individual with such an unusual pattern on the skin was discovered in 1926, and for a long time scientists argued about the classification, considering these cheetahs as a result of hybridization of cheetah and serval, and even tried to put the royal cheetah to a separate species. However, genetics put an end to the controversy when, in 1981, in the De Wildt Center of Cheetahs, located in South Africa, a pair of ordinary cheetahs gave birth to a cub with non-standard fur coloring. Royal cheetahs perfectly interbreed with their brethren, who have a typical pattern on the skin, while healthy and full-fledged offspring are born.
Photo by: Ashleyflashley
Other cheetah colors.
Among the cheetahs, there are other mutational deviations. In the wild, scientists have noticed predators with all sorts of colors, among them:
- White albino cheetahs,
- Black cheetahs with a barely visible contour of the spots (this mutation is called melanism),
- Red cheetahs with golden-haired fur and dark-red spots,
- Cheetahs with fur of light yellow or yellow-brown color, covered with pale red spots.
Sometimes the cheetah's coat has a very dull and faded color, especially with respect to the inhabitants of some desert zones: it is likely that such a nuance lies in the camouflage factor and the maximum adaptability of individuals to subsistence under the scorching sun rays.
How does a cheetah hunt?
According to the way of life, cheetah is a day-predator, preferring to be active during daylight hours. For hunting, the animal usually chooses a cool morning or evening time, but always before dusk, as it tracks the prey most often not by smell, but visually. At night, the cheetah hunts extremely rarely.
Photo by: Václav John
A very unusual way to hunt a cheetah: unlike other representatives of the feline, this animal does not attack a potential victim from an ambush, but catches it as a result of pursuit, combining a very fast run with long jumps. In the process of chasing a cheetah is able to quickly change the trajectory of movement and often uses such a maneuver to deceive the victim. This method of cheetah hunting is due to the habitat, because open terrain practically does not imply conditions for shelters, so the animal has to organize sprint runs to keep it alive. The cheetah knocks down the victim with a paw, and only then strangles it. The maximum speed of a cheetah can reach 112 km / h. Despite the large volume of the lungs, even he can not cope with the rapid speed when running, and, spending a huge amount of energy, the cheetah gets very tired. That is why almost half of the hunting chases end in failure: if the predator does not overtake the victim in the first 200-300 meters, it simply stops the pursuit.
What cheetah eats?
The main subject of hunting cheetah are representatives of hoofed animals: zebras, impalas, wildebeest, gazelles. The predator will not refuse to eat hares, and in a group hunt three cheetahs quite successfully win the fight with a large and strong ostrich. Surprisingly, cheetahs never eat carrion, and they rarely return to caught prey after the meal, preferring to hunt the fresh victim again, although they sometimes hide their lunch in the bushes, where there are hyenas, leopards and even lions on its remains.
During the rut, male cheetahs form small groups, usually consisting of 2-4 individuals. Most often, such premarital alliance includes sexually mature cheetah brothers from the same litter. This kindred clan protects the territory from the encroachments of other males, on which potential female partners are located.
The female cheetah is capable of reproducing full-fledged offspring at the age of 2-2.5 years, although the first estrus occurs much earlier - at the age of 19-21 months. Seasonality in the reproduction of these predators is weak. However, individuals living in eastern Africa give birth to babies mainly from January to August, while in South African cheetahs, kittens appear from November to March.
Author photo: Lukas Kaffer
Pregnancy of a female cheetah lasts from 85 to 95 days, as a result from 2 to 4-5 kittens are born. Cheetah cubs are born blind and completely helpless. Only after 10-14 days the eyes of the babies open. The hair of small cheetahs is rather long and differs in a grayish-blue shade, the characteristic spots on the skin appear later. The babies have a small black-brown mane, and the tip of the tail is decorated with a dark tassel: these identifying signs disappear by about 3-4 months. Almost a year, and sometimes more, (until they learn to hunt on their own) the cheetah cubs are near the caring mother under her vigilant supervision, but the father does not participate in the cheetah in bringing up their offspring.
Author photo: Milan Kořínek
The content of cheetahs in captivity.
Cheetah - an animal rather difficult to keep in captivity. Despite their stamina, these felines are vulnerable to drafts, excessively high humidity and sudden temperature changes. In the fall and spring, cheetahs often suffer from respiratory and viral diseases, so they try to vaccinate animals in a zoo.
A cheetah quite friendly to a person, very excited and worried about the presence of strangers, which can lead to tragedy if a person completely unknown to a predator is feeding and nursing.