A study published in 2013 established an individual top cheetah speed of 59 mph. The fastest cheetah, appropriately named Ferrari, ran on a flat track-like surface through vegetation.Continue Reading
Ferrari's speed was recorded by a team of researchers in Botswana who outfitted wild cheetahs with motion- and acceleration-tracking collars. They measured 367 runs, approximately one-fourth of which ended in a kill. This was the first exhaustive study in several decades. The previous accepted top speed was 64 mph, recorded in 1964.
Team leader, Professor Alan Wilson with the Royal Veterinary College of the University of London, has commented that the researchers learned about a good deal more than maximum cheetah running speeds. Cheetahs rarely run at full tilt. An average top speed of 33 mph was indicative of the cheetahs' need to preserve maneuverability. The researchers also studied hunting tactics, biomechanics and bone composition.Learn more about Large Cats
Cheetahs are considered a vulnerable species under the International Union for Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources, a global conservation group that researches animal populations and grants endangered status. Although vulnerable status is not the same as endangered, the cheetah population suffers from hunting, habitat loss and inbreeding.Full Answer >
Occasionally, cheetahs are attacked by larger predators such as lions, hyenas and leopards. For adult cheetahs, this is a rare occurrence, but for cheetah cubs, the mortality rate reaches around 90 percent.Full Answer >
Cheetahs sleep wherever they like and are typically not concerned about sleeping out in the open as long as the spot is shady. The cheetah knows how fast it is and it knows that it can quickly escape should there be a threat.Full Answer >
Cheetahs are solitary animals, and the mother is usually found either alone or with her cubs. For six weeks after their birth, she keeps them hidden in a den while she hunts; after that, the cubs are old enough to follow her. Cubs can begin to eat meat after three weeks but continue to suckle for two to three months. The male is not involved with the rearing process.Full Answer >