Cheetahs are the fastest land animals in the world. With their slim bodies and powerful, long legs, they can accelerate up to 120 km/h within a few seconds.
Cheetahs are excellent hunters. First of all they approach their prey very carefully until they are within a few metres, then when the time is right, they run at lightning speed. If the fleeing prey suddenly changes direction, the Cheetah can simply turn its body mid-leap. Its flexible spine makes this possible. However, if they have no success after a few hundred metres, they have to give up. The high speed is so energy-sapping, they can only keep it up for a short distance.
Cheetahs are perfectly adapted to the savannah. They only need to drink water every three to four days.
- Scientific name: Acinonyx jubatus
- Global home: Africa
- Conservation status: Vulnerable
- Primary habitat: Dry Savanna, Moist Savanna, Temperate Grassland