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  • Let's learn about cheetahs.

  • Cheetahs are the fastest land animals on the planet. There are birds that can fly faster,

  • but nothing on Earth runs faster than a cheetah does. They can accelerate to speeds of 47

  • mph or 75 kph in less than 2 seconds, and may reach top speeds of 75 miles or 120 kilometers

  • per hour, although they cannot maintain these incredible speeds for long.

  • Cheetahs are mammals. That means that they are covered in fur, they are warm-blooded,

  • and they feed their babies milk. Cheetahs are carnivores, preferring to kill and eat

  • medium-sized prey like impalas, gazelles, and springbok, but they will also eat ostriches,

  • warthogs, and zebras when they are available. Cheetahs hunt in the day, because they track

  • their prey by sight and not by smell. They will stalk up as close as possible to their

  • intended target and then give chase.

  • The chase usually lasts for less than a minute: if the cheetah cannot catch the animal quickly,

  • it will give up, but cheetahs kill about half of the animals that they chase. Once it has

  • made a kill, the cheetah needs to eat as fast as possible before larger predators arrive

  • and steal it.

  • Because they are built for speed and agility, cheetahs are much smaller than other predators,

  • like lions, leopards, and even hyenas. They need their speed and maneuverability to catch

  • food, and so cheetahs will avoid a fight where they might get hurt.

  • Adult cheetahs weigh between 63 and 143 pounds, or 28 and 65 kilograms, and have a head-and

  • body length of up to 55 inches or 140 centimeters. Their tails are quite long for their size,

  • with lengths of roughly three feet or one meter common. This long tail is used to help

  • the cheetah steer and change direction when they are running at high speeds. Cheetahs

  • can be recognized by their spotted fur, long tails, slender legs, and black stripes extending

  • down from their eyes. Something interesting about cheetahs is that, unlike other big cats,

  • they cannot roar. However, they can purr!

  • Cheetahs have small heads to reduce wind resistance, and large nostrils to help them take in more

  • oxygen. They also have enlarged hearts and lungs to help supply blood to their muscles.

  • Their spines are extremely flexible, like springs, allowing them to move incredibly

  • far with each stride - up to 25 feet, or 7 to 8 meters in a single bound. Cheetahs also

  • have special feet, different than the feet of most other cats. Their claws do not retract

  • all the way, giving them better grip, like cleats, and allowing them to run faster.

  • Cheetahs live mostly in the grassy savanna of Africa and the Middle East, although some

  • live in parts of Asia.

  • Throughout history, some people have kept cheetahs as pets, beginning with the Ancient

  • Egyptians. They used the cheetahs to hunt. Kings and emperors for thousands of years

  • kept cheetahs both for pets and for hunting. Today, cheetahs are vulnerable to extinction

  • due to hunting by humans, loss of habitat, and being illegally taken from the wild to

  • be kept as pets. Farmers will sometimes shoot and kill cheetahs because they think they

  • will eat their animals.

  • Only about 10,000 cheetahs remain in the wild, but people are working hard to help protect

  • the cheetah population. Farmers are being taught how to protect their animals without

  • killing cheetahs, and people are trying to protect the places that cheetahs live and

  • the animals they eat so that they will have healthy habitats to live in. I hope you enjoyed

  • learning about the cheetah today. Goodbye till next time!

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