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Animal Behavior  
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ORDER FAMILY Scientific name
Carnivora Felidae Acinonyx jubatus
HABITAT Open woodland savanna and plains with little thickets, are the ideal conditions for Cheetah.


Although more sociable than Leopards, adult Cheetahs are solitary animals.
They are the fastest quadrupeds, reaching speeds of more than 100 kilometers per hour, in short bursts.
They normally hunt in early morning and late afternoon. Adaptations for high speed chase are, a very large chest, small waist and a very long and somewhat flattened tail that the animal use as a "ruder" on tight turns at high speed.
Their claws are not retractable. At a kill Cheetahs tend to eat as quick as they can, always on the alert for other carnivores, to whom they very often loose their prey.
A genetic variant occurs in which the spots are larger and, the ones on the back are grouped in stripes. The animal is called "King Cheetah".
Cheetahs live for about 15 years and can attain a mass of about 60 Kg.
DIET They prey on small antelope, like Sprigbok, Steenbok, Impala, Duiker and Warthog.
BREEDING After a gestation period of about 90 days, two to five cubs are born in a sheltered bush on tall grass. They are assisted by their mother until they reach sexual maturity at about 18 months of age.


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Last revised: March 22, 2005.