interesting cheetah facts

October 8, 2009 | In: Animal facts for kids

Fastest mammals on land, the cheetah can reach speeds of 60 or even 70 miles an hour. It only takes a cheetah 2 seconds to go from 0 to 45 mph.

The name cheetah comes from an Indian word meaning “spotted one.”

The cheetah is the most primitive of all cats, evolving approximately 18 million years ago.

A cheetah’s tail can be up to 2.5 feet long.

The cheetah cannot roar like other big cats.

There are only about 12,000 cheetahs in existence today.

There are 5 subspecies of cheetah in the genus Acinonyx – 4 in Africa and 1 in Iran.

Cheetah cubs are born with long, gray fur.

It’s rare for cheetahs to climb trees. They can jump onto low hanging branches and fallen trees, but adult cheetahs are not good climbers.

The cheetahs have been used in hunting sports in ancient times.

Cheetahs, the smallest of the big cats and the fastest land animals, are easily tamed and trained to hunt. Pharaohs, Asian royalty, and the emperor Charlemagne are among those who used cheetahs to hunt other animals.

However, in the wild cheetahs are not very good hunters. Despite their speed, cheetahs tire quickly, which means they have to get very close to their prey in order to catch it. When they do catch it, they are often so exhausted they can’t protect it from other predators, such as lions and hyenas.

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