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Photo.Keely | profile | all galleries >> Africa >> Cheetah tree view | thumbnails | slideshow


The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a unique member of the cat family (Felidae) in terms of its speed, its lack of the ability to climb and the fact that it's the only cat that cannot completely retract its claws. Reaching speeds up to 75 mph (120 km/h) in short bursts covering distances up to 500 yards, it is the fastest land animal. And, it has the ability to accelerate from 0 to 68 mph in three seconds, faster than most cars. The genus name, Acinonyx, in Greek means 'no-move-claw', while the species name, jubatus, in Latin means 'maned', a reference to the mane found in cheetah cubs -- which for protection makes them resemble a honey-badger. Even when retracted, the claws remain visible and are used for traction during the cheetah's acceleration and maneuvering. The English word "cheetah" comes from Hindi chiitaa, which may be derived from Sanskrit chitraka, meaning 'speckled'. The first 10 pictures were taken of an adult male in Kruger, while the last 10 were taken in the De-Wildt Centre near Johannesburg, which was the first in the world to breed cheetahs in captivity. Cheetahs once roamed throughout Asia and Africa, but now only about 150 remain in Iran and about 12,000 live in sub-Saharan African grasslands. They are endangered because of decline in prey, loss of habitat, poaching, and being killed as a livestock predator. Reference:
Male Cheetah Male Cheetah Male Cheetah
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Male Cheetah Male Cheetah Feeding Time
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King Cheetah King Cheetah