Cheetahs have a flexible spine that allows the front legs to extend further for efficient running. Males live in groups called coalitions. Cheetah cubs have a 90 percent mortality rate.Continue Reading
Cheetahs are the fastest mammals on the planet, reaching speeds up to 70 mph. Cheetahs have a thin, muscular body that helps them run faster. They also have claws that are nonretractable for gaining traction on soft ground. These cats have large lungs that increase their lung capacity, and they have wide nostrils and enlarged hearts. The hind limbs possess fibers and muscles for enhanced running. Cheetahs can run reach speeds up to 60 mph in three seconds, but they can only run for short bursts before growing tired. Cheetahs run so fast to the point where only one paw touches the ground at a time.
Males that form coalitions are usually brothers, and only a single male within a coalition mates with females. These coalitions last a lifetime, and the brothers live and hunt together. Males usually form coalitions after leaving their mothers behind, and the females venture alone after leaving the mother. Females live alone, but they join groups when having cubs.
Mothers are forced to leave cheetah cubs behind when hunting, making them vulnerable to predators. Cheetah mothers move the cubs every few days to evade enemies. The cubs join her on hunts when they reach six weeks. Cheetahs remain with the mother until 18 months before embarking on their own. Cheetah females have three to five cubs per litter.Learn more about Large Cats