Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus)
(Yes, it was raining....)
The Cheetah (derived from Sanskrit word Chitraka meaning "Speckled") hunts by speed rather than by stealth or pack tactics. It is the fastest of all terrestrial animals and can reach speeds of up to 100 km/h (62 mph) in short bursts.
The cheetah's body is svelte and muscular. It has a small head and short muzzle, high-placed eyes, large nostrils for maximal oxygen intake, and small round ears. The adult animal weighs from 40 to 65 kg (90 to 140 lb). Its total body length is from 112 to 135 cm (45 in to 55 in), while the tail can measure up to 84 cm (33 in). Male cheetahs are slightly larger than females and have a slightly bigger head, but it is difficult to tell males and females apart by appearance alone.
The fur of the cheetah is yellow with round black spots, which help to camouflage it, and distinctive black tear lines on the sides of the muzzle. The cheetah's paws have only semi-retractable claws, the only of its type amongst the species of cat, and offer the cat extra grip in its high-speed pursuits. Unlike true big cats, cheetahs can purr as they inhale, but cannot roar. By contrast, lions, tigers, leopards, and jaguars can roar but cannot purr, except while exhaling.
The cheetah is a vulnerable species. Out of all the big cats, it is the least able to adapt to new environments. Once widely shot for its fur, the cheetah now suffers more from the loss of both habitat and prey.
The cheetah prefers to live in an open biotope, such as semi-desert, prairie, and thick brush.
Reproduction and social life:
Cheetah acquires sexual maturity in 20 to 24 months. Mating season is throughout the year. Females give birth to one to five kittens after a gestation of ninety to ninety-five days. Cheetah kittens are born with a downy underlying fur on their necks, extending to mid-back. This gives them a mane or mohawk type appearance, this fur is shed as the cheetahs grow older. The cheetah can live over twenty years, but their life is often short for they lose their speed due to old age. Unlike other felines, the adult females do not have true territories and seem to avoid each other, though some mother/daughter pairs have been known to continue for small periods of time. Males sometimes form small groups, especially when they come from the same litter. Usually these groups consist of two or three brothers. Life span is up to 12 years in wild, much longer in captivity.
Vulnerable. Cheetah cubs have a high mortality rate due to genetic factors and predation by carnivores in competition with the cheetah, such as the lion and hyena. Some biologists now believe that they are too inbred to flourish as a species.
: The photos from our trip! Overhere! Feel free to use any of these additional letters to correct the spelling of words found in the above post: a-e-t-n-d-i-o-s-m-l-u-y-h-c