Acinonyx jabatus

 Quick Facts

Found:  Africa and Iran
Size: Up to 6 feet long with tail
Weight: 85-145 pounds
Diet: Small hoofed animals
Life Span: 10 to 12 years
Status: Endangered

Cheetah's are the fastest land mammals on earth.  They can accelerate to 45 miles per hour in 2 seconds from a standstill and reach full speed of 60-70 miles per hour in less than 4 seconds.  All this comes at a price for the cheetah.  Due to the tremendous toll on its body, they cannot sustain this speed for more than a few hundred yards.  Its respiratory rate will increase from 20-30 breaths per minute to 150-200.  The heart rate jumps from a normal 120-170 beats per minute to 200-250.  The working muscles generate a lot of heat so their body temperature skyrockets to 105 degrees, any higher and the animal would suffer permanent organ damage.  Once the cheetah captures its prey, it will spend 5 to 55 minutes just resting before it begins to eat.  The average cheetah chase is 55 feet and lasts only about 20 seconds.  Females live alone while males usually live in small groups. Male groups often stay together for life and hunt and feed together.

Cheetah   Cheetah   Cheetah