Where Does the North American Cheetah Live?

north-american-cheetah-live Credit: John Knight/Moment Open/Getty Images

Currently there are no species of cheetah that live on the North American continent. However, scientists have researched their ancient habitats and discovered that cheetahs may have evolved in North America around 10,000 years ago.

The American cheetah is an extinct genus of at least two species that were originally native to the North American continent during the Pleistocene era, about 12,000 years ago. Both species are similar to the modern cheetah, sharing much of its evolutionary traits. Fossil records indicate that the American cheetah lived near the central region of the United States, called the Great Plains. It is not known what caused the two species to go extinct.