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Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) complete detail – updated

Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) complete detail – updated. Description of Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Fastest land mammal in the world is Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Classification of  Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Habit and habitat of Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Grasslands and deserts are suitable habitats for cheetahs.
Cheetahs have territories that will overlap with the territories of other females and males. Non-territorial males will travel the territories of resident males in search of females while keeping a low profile. Territorial males mark the area that they defend with urine, by raking the ground with their hind paws claw at trees, flatten grass by rolling and deposit feces on prominent land features. Cheetahs are generally found in open plains, savannah, open woodland, desert and semi-barren zones………..
Cheetah has a long and slender body that is covered in coarse yellowish fur and dotted with small black spots and whitish color on the underparts.  Age of sexual maturity is 1-1.5 years for male lion and 1.6-2 years for female cheetah. Cheetahs are carnivorous animals that prey on gazelles, impala and even larger animals such as zebra and wildebeests. They are typically shy and very stealthy animals so that they are able to hunt for prey in the hot daylight hours without being spotted so…………….
The gestation period last for between 3 – 3.5 months and usually give birth 4 to 7 cubs. Males associate with females only at the time of hunting. They also have non-retractable claws which dig into the ground, giving the Cheetah better grip at high speed.

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Distinctive Identification

Cheetah is the fastest land mammal in the world. The Cheetah has a long and slender body that is covered in coarse yellowish fur and dotted with small black spots and whitish color on the underparts. The weight of cheetah is between 35 to 70 kg. Body lengths of cheetahs range from 170 to 230 centimeter including the tail.  Shoulder height is between 65-95 centimeter. Cheetah skulls are short and broad, above the muzzle and cranium they are highly raised and vaulted. Nasal openings are dorsally broad and enlarged, with the bony plate extending well behind the molars.

Cheetahs are slim and have relatively long legs in relation to their body size, with a small rounded head and short ears. The fur is coarse to the touch with a slight mane of longer hair on the nape. The eyes of adults and cubs have circular pupils when contracted and relaxed. The ears are small and rounded, with lightly colored inner fur in contrast to the posterior side, which has a black patch within the main dorsal color of the individual. Cheetahs have long limbs and a deep chest cavity together with a small waist and extremely flexible spine.

Cheetah has long tail helps with balance and changing direction quickly and unlike the rest of the Cheetah’s body, there are ringed markings along the tail which ends in a black tip. Their fur color changes slightly, depending on their surrounding environment. They have small heads with high set eyes.

Cheetahs have distinctive black “tear marks” that run from the inner eye, along their nose and down to the outside of their mouths. Cheetahs have four strong and powerful legs, hind legs are more strong and powerful and increases speed at the time of hunting. They also have non-retractable claws which dig into the ground, giving the Cheetah better grip at high speed. Young cubs have a pronounced mane that extends over the head, neck, and back, and is distinctly lighter shade, often looking gray, white or bluish-gray.

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Classification

Common Name – Cheetah

Local Name – Cheetah

Zoological Name – Acinonyx jubatus

Kingdom – Animalia

Phylum – Chordata

Class – Mammalia

Order – Carnivora

Family – Felidae

Genus – Acinonyx

Species – Acinonyx jubatus

Conservational Status – Schedule – I, according to wildlife (Protection) act, 1972 and classified as Vulnerable (VU) by the IUCN.

Distribution

The Cheetah is a large and powerful feline that was once found throughout Asia, Africa and even in few parts of Europe. Cheetahs are ranged from Palestine and the Arabian Peninsula to Tajikistan and central India, as well as throughout the continent of Africa excluding the zones of tropical forest and central Sahara. Cheetahs are most commonly found stalking prey on the vast, open grasslands but they are also found in deserts, dense vegetation and mountainous terrain. Highest population of wild Cheetahs is found in Namibia in south-western Africa. Cheetahs are also found in Iran, sub-Saharan Africa and some parts of eastern and southern Africa.

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Habit and habitat

Grasslands and deserts are suitable habitats for cheetahs. Cheetahs have territories that will overlap with the territories of other females and males. Non-territorial males will travel the territories of resident males in search of females while keeping a low profile. Territorial males mark the area that they defend with urine, by raking the ground with their hind paws, claw at trees, flatten grass by rolling and deposit feces on prominent land features. Cheetahs are generally found in open plains, savannah, open woodland, desert and semi-barren zones.

Cheetahs are carnivorous animals that prey on gazelles, impala and even larger animals such as zebra and wildebeests. They are typically shy and very stealthy animals so that they are able to hunt for prey in the hot daylight hours without being spotted so easily. Cheetahs often kill their prey in vast open spaces but tend to drag it into a hiding place to prevent it from being scavenged by other animals. Cheetahs are diurnal hunters, as they hunt during the day and rest at night.

The cheetah is one of the fastest terrestrial mammals, with reported maximum speeds ranging from 80 to 110 kilometers per hour. They are occasionally hunted by other big cats such as lions, Nile crocodiles, spotted hyenas and even leopards.

Age of sexual maturity is 1-1.5 years for male lion and 1.6-2 years for female cheetah. The gestation period last for between 3 – 3.5 months and usually give birth, 4 to 7 cubs. Males associate with females only at the time of mating, provide no parental care and will mate with as many females as possible. Females are essentially solitary and will breed throughout the year. The average copulation frequency for cheetahs is 3 to 5 times per day.

The cubs are born between 150 and 300 grams and are born with their characteristic spots, as well as a mantle extending to mid-back. They have closed eyes, little locomotive skill and will open their eyes 5 to 10 days after birth. Young cheetahs will begin walking after 12 to 13 days when their eyes are open. As the cheetah grows older, this mantle is shed. The mother will look after her young for at least thirteen months and at the most twenty months. Deciduous milk teeth in cubs erupt between 3 and 6 weeks of age and they replaced with permanent teeth at the age of around 8 months old. Average life span of cheetah is between 8–13 years.

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