Monday, April 28, 2008
The cheetah has a slender, long-legged body with blunt semi-retractable claws. Its chest is deep and its waist is narrow.
The coarse, short fur of the cheetah is tan with round black spots measuring from 2 to 3 cm across, giving it some camouflage while hunting. There are no spots on its white underside, but the tail has spots, which merge to form four to six dark rings at the end. The tail usually ends in a bushy white tuft. The cheetah has a small head with high-set eyes. Black "tear marks" run from the corner of its eyes down the sides of the nose to its mouth to keep sunlight out of its eyes and to aid in hunting and seeing long distances.
Cheetahs weigh from 40 - 65 kg. Its total body length is from 115 to 135 cm , while the tail can measure up to 84 cm in length. Males tend to be slightly larger than females and have slightly bigger heads, but there is not a great variation in cheetah sizes. Compared to a similarly-sized tiger, the cheetah is generally shorter-bodied, but is longer tailed and taller (it is about 90 cm tall) and so it appears more streamlined.
Wednesday, April 9, 2008
Yipping - When cheetahs attempt to find each other, or a mother tries to locate her cubs, it uses a high-pitched barking called yipping. The yips made by a cheetah cub sound more like a bird chirping, and so are termed chirping.
Churring or stuttering - This vocalization is emitted by a cheetah during social meetings. A churr can be seen as a social invitation to other cheetahs, an expression of interest, uncertainty, or appeasement or during meetings with the opposite sex (although each sex churrs for different reasons).
Growling - This vocalization is often accompanied by hissing and spitting and is exhibited by the cheetah during annoyance, or when faced with danger.
Yowling - This is an escalated version of growling, usually displayed when danger worsens.
Purring - This is made when the cheetah is content, usually during pleasant social meetings (mostly between cubs and their mothers).
Friday, March 21, 2008
It is a poor climber which hunts by speed and stealth.
It is the fastest of all land animals and can reach speeds between 112 km/h (70 mph) and 120 km/h (75 mph) in short bursts.
It can accelerate from 0 to 110 km/h (68 mph) in three seconds, faster than most supercars.
The word "cheetah" is derived from the Sanskrit word chitrakaya, meaning "variegated body".