The king cheetah is a rare mutation of cheetah characterized by a distinct pelt pattern.
Recent evidence has shown that cheetahs will not attack and eat livestock if they can avoid doing so, as they prefer their wild prey.
Cream (isabelline) cheetahs have pale red spots on a pale background.
According to Hunter and Hamman (2003), the cheetah's fastest recorded speed was 110 km/h (68 mph).
The word "cheetah" is derived from the Sanskrit word chitrak?ya?, meaning "variegated body," via the Hindi ???? c?t? (AHD 2006).
Cheetahs continued to be associated with royalty and elegance, their use as pets spreading just as their hunting skills were.
Cheetah cubs often hide in thick brush for safety.
A cheetah has a 50 percent chance of losing its kills to other predators (O'Brien et al.
Red (erythristic) cheetahs have dark tawny spots on a golden background.
Another 50 to 60 critically endangered Asiatic cheetahs are thought to remain in Iran.
Adaptations that enable the cheetah to run as fast as it does include large nostrils that allow for increased oxygen intake, and an enlarged heart and lungs that work together to circulate oxygen efficiently.
The cheetah has unusually low genetic variability and a very low sperm count, which also suffers from low motility and deformed flagellae (O'Brien et al.
The Mughal Emperor of India, Jahangir, recorded having a white cheetah presented to him in 1608.
The coarse, short fur of the cheetah is tan with round black spots measuring from 2 centimeters (0.79 in) to 3 centimeters (1.2 in) across, affording it some camouflage while hunting.
Other such princes and kings kept them as pets, including Genghis Khan and Charlemagne, who boasted of having kept cheetahs within their palace grounds.
Now-extinct species include Acinonyx pardinensis (Pliocene epoch), much larger than the modern cheetah and found in Europe, India, and China and Acinonyx intermedius (mid-Pleistocene period), found over the same range.
Recent inbreeding causes cheetahs to share very similar genetic profiles.
When the prey was near enough, the cheetahs would be released and their blindfolds removed.
Some desert region cheetahs are unusually pale; probably they are better-camouflaged and therefore better hunters and more likely to breed and pass on their paler coloration.
Akbar the Great, ruler of the Mughal Empire from 1556 to 1605, kept as many as 1,000 cheetahs (O'Brien et al.
The sisters had both mated with a wild-caught male from the Transvaal area (where king cheetahs had been recorded).
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.
The cheetah eats mostly mammals under 40 kilograms (88 lb), including the Thomson's gazelle, the Grant's gazelle, the springbok, and the impala.
The king cheetah has only been seen in the wild a handful of times, but it has been bred in captivity.
The cheetah has a small head with high-set eyes.
The cheetah prefers to live in an open biotope, such as semi-desert, prairie, and thick brush, though it can be found in a variety of habitats.
The cheetah's chest is deep and its waist is narrow.
A cheetah with hardly any spots was shot in Tanzania on 1921 (Pocock), it had only a few spots on the neck and back and these were unusually small.
The cheetah has a unique, well-structured social order.
Cheetahs are far less aggressive than other big cats and can be domesticated, so cubs are sometimes illegally sold as pets.
Cheetahs have long played an important role in human society.
Compared to a similarly-sized leopard, the cheetah is generally shorter-bodied, but is longer tailed and taller (it averages about 90 centimeters (35 in) tall) and so it appears more streamlined.
Ancient Egyptians often kept cheetahs as pets, and also tamed and trained them for hunting.
Cheetahs are polygamous and breed year round, with peaks after rains (Grzimek et al.
Cheetah fur was formerly regarded as a status symbol.
When the species came under threat, numerous campaigns were launched to try to educate farmers and encourage them to conserve cheetahs.
Today, cheetahs have a growing economic importance for ecotourism and they are also found in zoos.
The cheetah hunts by vision rather than by scent.
The subspecies Acinonyx jubatus guttatus, the woolly cheetah, may also have been a variation due to a recessive gene.
The cheetah is found in the wild primarily in Africa, although in the past its range extended into much of Asia, and a small population still remains in Iran.
Mother cheetahs will defend their young and are at times successful in driving predators away from their cubs.
Running at speeds of 60 mph or more puts a great deal of strain on the cheetah's body.
Cheetahs remain at risk with only around 12,400 remaining wild in Africa and around 50 in Iran.
Cheetahs look for individuals which have strayed some distance from their group, and do not necessarily seek out old or weak ones.
Cheetahs in southern African woodlands have ranges as small as 34 square kilometers, while in some parts of Namibia they can reach 1,500 square kilometers (580 sq mi).
Approximately 12,400 cheetahs remain in the wild in 25 African countries; Namibia has the most, with about 2,500.
The cheetah thrives in areas with vast expanses of land where prey is abundant.
The cheetah is unique in its speed, being the fast land animal, and in being a wild cat that lacks climbing abilities.
Cheetahs were formerly, and sometimes still are, hunted because many farmers believe that they eat livestock.
There have also been several unconfirmed reports of Asiatic cheetahs in the Balochistan province of Pakistan, with at least one dead animal being recovered recently (WWFPak 2007).
Cheetahs belong to the Felinae subfamily within the Felidae family, along with the domestic cat, lynx, ocelot, jaguarundi, and cougar, among others.
Once widely hunted for its fur, the cheetah now suffers more from the loss of both habitat and prey.
Female cheetahs reach maturity within 20 to 24 months, and males around 12 months, although they do not usually mate until at least three years old).
Cheetahs would be taken to hunting fields in low-sided carts or by horseback, hooded and blindfolded, and kept on leashes while dogs flushed out their prey.
Most have been reported in Indian cheetahs, particularly in captive specimens kept for hunting.
Vesey Fitzgerald saw a melanistic cheetah in Zambia in the company of a spotted cheetah.
The genus name, Acinonyx, means "no-move-claw" in Greek, while the species name, jubatus, means "maned" in Latin, a reference to the mane found in cheetah cubs.
When sprinting, the cheetah's body temperature becomes so high that it would be deadly to continue—this is why the cheetah is often seen resting after it has caught its prey.
Of the five subspecies of cheetah in the genus Acinonyx, four live in Africa and one in Iran.
A recent study of cheetahs in the Serengeti showed that female cheetahs often have cubs by many different males (ITN 2007).
Like other felids, cheetahs are carnivores, getting food by killing and eating other animals.
The cheetah has an average hunting success rate of around 50%—half of its chases result in failure.
Skin grafts between non-related cheetahs illustrate this point in that there is no rejection of the donor skin.
The cheetah's paws have semi-retractable claws (O'Brien et al.
Some cheetahs also have a rare fur pattern mutation: cheetahs with larger, blotchy, merged spots are known as "king cheetahs."
Coalitions of male cheetahs can also chase away other predators, depending on the coalition size and the size and number of the predator.
Blue (Maltese or gray) cheetahs have variously been described as white cheetahs with gray-blue spots (chinchilla) or pale gray cheetahs with darker gray spots (Maltese mutation).
The diet of a cheetah is dependent upon the area in which it lives.
The adult cheetah weighs from 40 kilograms (88 lb) to 65 kilograms (140 lb).
The cheetah was formerly considered to be particularly primitive among the cats and to have evolved approximately 18 million years ago.
Ostriches can run at speeds of up to 43 miles per hour, but they are no match for the cheetah, which tops out at 75 miles per hour.Oct 2, 2015
The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is an atypical member of the cat family (Felidae) that 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 110 km/h (70 mph) in short bursts. ... It is the only cat that cannot completely retract its claws.
Although cheetahs are members of the cat family, they have dog-like non-retractable claws. This limits their tree-climbing ability but gives them a speed advantage when charging.Typically, a cheetah will start a charge 60m to 100m from an antelope and, within seconds, will be racing at full tilt.