The Fastest Creature on Earth... 
Top of Page                                                    
Habitat Diet/Hunting  Size/Appearance Life Span Predators Population Interesting Facts

  Full frown CheetahRunning CheetahCheetah CubCheetah FamilyProunceGrowling    


Scientific name: 

Acinonyx jubatus Cheetah Cubs           Happy family      


  • Africa
  • Some parts of the Middle East
  • Areas with lots of  land where prey is abundant
  • They Like to live in an open biotope, such as semidesert, prairie and thick brush
  • Can sometimes also be found it other environments such as savannas or grasslands             

Top of Page



  • Carnivore
  • Eats mostly mamals under 88lbs
    • Gazelles
    • Zebras
    • Wildabeest
  • Hunts early in the morning or late in the evening
  • By vision rather than scent
  • They stalk the animal first, then chase it
  • Catch their prey 50% of the time
Feasting on a Zebra

Top of Page


  • A large, swayedback cat
  • Yellosish-tan coat heavily spotted with solid back dots
  • "Tear stain" below each eye black
  • Long spotted tail with black
  • Long spotted tail with rings near the end and white tip
  • Thin waste
  • Long, thin limbs
Cheetah 1        Babies
Top of Page

Life Span:

  • 10-12 years
  • 20 in captivity
    Mating usually doesn't take place until the age of 3 years. Females give birth to an average litter of 3 to 5 cubs after a gestation period of 3 months.

Top of Page


    The cheetah's mortality is very high during the early weeks of its life; up to 90% of cheetah cubs are killed during this time by lions, leopards, hyenas, wild dogs, or even by eagles. Cheetah cubs often hide in thick brush for safety. Mother cheetahs will defend their young and are at times successful in driving predators away from their cubs. Coalitions of male cheetahs can also chase away other predators, depending on the
 coalition size and the size and number of the predator. Because of its speed, a healthy adult cheetah has few enemies.

Top of Page


    Today, only 12,000 to 15,000 cheetahs remain in Africa, and a few may survive in Iran. The country with the largest population is Namibia, home to about 3,000 Cheetahs.

Interesting facts:   

A cheetah can attain speeds up to 76 miles per hour but can only sustain them for over a distance of approximately 1,500 feet. Cheetahs can accelerate at an amazing rate, going from a standstill position to as fast as 68 mph in less than three seconds

-Cheetahs have long been associated with royalty. Ancient Egyptians kept them for pets and exalted them for their hunting prowess. Cheetahs were once abundant throughout Africa, Asia and India, but their numbers have been greatly reduced due to loss of natural habitat, poaching, illegal selling of cubs and other factors. Approximately 10,000 cheetahs currently remain in Africa, and small groups of cheetahs are found in other areas such as Iran.

-Cheetahs can only run at their top speed for 20 seconds.

-Cheetahs use their tails to steer like a motor of a boat to navigate in the desired direction.
-Unlike other big cats, Cheetahs purr, not roar


Animal Miles Per Hour
Cheetahs 70  
Pronghorn Antelope 61 
Wildebeest, Lion, Thompsons Gazelle 50 
Greyhounds, Elk, Cape Hunting Dog 45 
Coyotes 43 
Grayfox 42 
Zebras, Hyenas, Mongolian Wild Ass 40

Top of Page


Click here for videos on Cheetahs: Fast and Furious: Lives of Cheetahs

                                             Fast and Furious: Cheetah Cub vs. Gazelle

Page created, designed researched by Kirstin Terwilliger, April 20, 2011. Last updated, April 27, 2011