35 Interesting facts about cheetahs

Interesting facts about cheetahs are a great opportunity to learn more about large predators from the cat family. They possess great strength, speed, and agility, and their distinctive coat makes them easily recognizable worldwide.

  1. The cheetah is the fastest of all terrestrial mammals: it can reach speeds of up to 110 km/h in just 3 seconds!
  2. In pursuit of prey, cheetahs can run at speeds of up to 130 km/h, making leaps of 6-8 meters and spending less than 0.5 seconds on each leap.
  3. In ancient Egypt, cheetahs were used as hunting companions.
  4. Cheetahs are distinguished from most of their relatives by their slender body, developed musculature, and lack of fat deposits.
  5. The weight of these predators ranges from 40 to 65 kg, with a body length of 115 to 140 cm.
  6. If an attack on prey fails immediately, the cheetah will not pursue it for more than 10-15 seconds.
  7. In case, after a dozen attacks on prey, the cheetah fails to catch it, it will likely die of starvation because it simply won’t have the strength for subsequent attacks.
  8. Interestingly, cheetahs live about 20 years in the wild, whereas in captivity, this can extend up to 30 years.
  9. Cheetahs often form coalitions as it makes hunting easier.
  10. During rapid running, cheetah jumps can reach 7-8 meters.
  11. Unlike many predators, cheetahs do not ambush their prey but instead approach them from behind and attack suddenly.
  12. During intense running, cheetahs breathe about 150 times per minute.
  13. Did you know that cheetahs do not reproduce in captivity?
  14. On average, one out of two cheetah attacks ends successfully.
  15. Females carry their cubs for 3 months. A litter can consist of 2 to 6 cubs.
  16. Interestingly, 87% of a cheetah’s prey consists of Thomson’s gazelles.
  17. The predator can go without food for 5-6 days.
  18. In the first few seconds of running, a cheetah can cover approximately 400 meters.
  19. Cheetahs drink water relatively infrequently, only a couple of times a week.
  20. Unlike leopards, cheetahs are not as adept at climbing trees.
  21. The claws of cheetahs retract only partially into their paws.
  22. The sounds made by cheetahs somewhat resemble bird chirping.
  23. Cheetahs never feed on carrion.
  24. Cheetahs are well-adapted for high-speed pursuits, with their long, flexible spine providing exceptional stride length and their large nasal passages allowing for increased oxygen intake during sprints.
  25. Despite their incredible speed, cheetahs can only maintain their top speed for short bursts, typically less than a minute, due to the immense energy expenditure.
  26. Cheetahs have distinctive “tear marks” running from the inner corners of their eyes down to the sides of their mouth. These markings may help reduce glare from the sun during hunts and are unique to each individual, similar to human fingerprints.
  27. While cheetahs are formidable hunters, they are also vulnerable to larger predators like lions and hyenas, which often steal their kills or prey upon cheetah cubs.
  28. Unlike other big cats, cheetahs have non-retractable claws, which provide better traction during high-speed pursuits but make them less effective climbers.
  29. Cheetahs primarily hunt during the day, using their keen eyesight to spot prey from a distance, often relying on tall grass or rocky outcrops for cover before launching an ambush.
  30. Cheetahs are highly sociable animals and often form close-knit family groups consisting of a mother and her cubs. Male cheetahs may also form coalitions with their brothers to increase hunting success and defend territory.
  31. The cheetah’s slender build and lightweight skeleton make it the fastest accelerating land animal, capable of going from 0 to 60 mph (97 km/h) in just a few seconds.
  32. Despite their speed, cheetahs have relatively low success rates in hunts, with only about 50% of chases resulting in a kill. This is due to their reliance on short bursts of speed and their vulnerability to exhaustion.
  33. Cheetahs have a unique hunting strategy known as “stalk and sprint,” where they silently approach their prey as close as possible before launching a sudden burst of speed to catch them off guard.
  34. Cheetah cubs have distinctive fluffy manes along their backs, which are thought to mimic the appearance of honey badgers, deterring potential predators from attacking them.
  35. Conservation efforts are crucial for cheetahs, as they face numerous threats in the wild, including habitat loss, human-wildlife conflict, and poaching for their skins. Efforts to protect cheetah populations and their habitats are essential for their survival.

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