Order Carnivora
Family Felidae
Genus Acinonyx
Species Jubatus
Height 75cms (average)
Weight 35-64kgs
Lifespan Upto 15 years
Habitat Open savannahs


African cheetah (a.j. jubatus )
Asiatic cheetah (a.j. venaticus)

The Cheetah is the fastest land animal and can reach up to 60 miles per hour. They are built for speed with their sleek body, flexible spine, powerful chest and long legs.

They live in open savannahs and areas of bush and scrub. Females are mainly solitary animals unless with her cubs. Males form a group of two or three (often siblings) that will live and hunt together for a long period of time. Unlike most of the other big cats the Cheetah is diurnal hunting early morning and in the afternoon.

A Cheetah will stalk its prey to get as close as possible before pouncing, to reserve energy in the final chase. Full sprints, though fast, only last around 500 metres. Living in the same habitats as the Lion and Leopard the Cheetah depends on its speed and diurnal hunting habits to compensate for its lessers strength and size.

Their prey is mainly medium sized antelope such as the Thomson’s Gazelle.

Cheetah comes from the hindi word “chita” meaning "something that is spotted."

Their claws don’t retract unlike other big cats.

Even though they do make other sounds, a Cheetah doesn’t roar.



Built for Speed – Cheetahs (Discovery)

Author: Sharon Elain Thompson
Reading level: Young Adult
Library Binding - 96 pages (January 1998)
Lerner Publications Company; ISBN: 0822528541



Author: Taylor Morrison
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Hardcover - 32 pages (April 1998)
Henry Holt & Company, LLC; ISBN: 080505121X


Swift as the Wind: The Cheetah

Author: Barbara Juster Esbensen, Jean Cassels
Reading level: Ages 4-8
Library Binding (March 1996)
Orchard Books (NY); ISBN: 0531087972


Cheetah Links

Cheetah Conservation Fund
Conservation organisation working with countries that have wild Cheetah populations. Useful info on Cheetahs, their behaviour and status. Cheetah adoption available.

The Cheetah Spot
Useful information on Cheetah's behaviour, history and status.

Cheetahs in a hot spot
Information and facts.

Organisation to conserve the big cats of Africa with useful information on Cheetahs and other cats.

Cheetah Outreach
Based in South Africa, educating about cheetahs. Information on cheetahs and photos.



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