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The Powerful and Vulnerable Cheetah

            The cheetah is one of the most amazing animals on earth. Although it is only a medium sized animal and a small wild cat, it is the fastest land animal in the world. The cheetah's body is long and slender to help it run faster while hunting its prey. It is also a very beautiful animal with a tan coat and black markings. The cheetah is an endangered animal. One of the reasons for this is its beautiful coat which is used for illegal trade.
             The cheetah's long and slender body has evolved to allow it to run fast so it can capture its prey. The average cheetah weighs from 77-143 pounds and is from 3.5-4.5 feet long. Its tail is 25-31 inches long. The cheetah uses its tail for balance and to steer, like a boat rudder. It can run from 0-60 miles per hour in three seconds, faster than most cars. The cheetah is one of the only animals that makes distinct facial expressions that show its mood. Also, unlike other wild cats cheetahs cannot roar. However, they can purr like domestic cats. Cheetahs are typically solitary animals. Male cheetahs sometimes live with a small group of brothers that are from the same litter. Female cheetahs live alone, except when raising their cubs.
             The cheetah hunts mostly during the late afternoon or early evening. They hide in the tall grasses and behind the scattered trees and shrubs in the savannah to stalk their prey. The cheetahs coat is tan in color with black spots all over its body and has six black rings around its tail. There are also black tear lines on its face from the corner of its eyes to the nose. All of these marking act as a camouflage when it is hunting. The cheetah outruns its prey and knocks it to the ground with its paw. The cheetah then kills its prey with a suffocating bite the neck. They must eat quickly before they lose their kill to other bigger more aggressive carnivores.
             The cheetah lives mostly in Namibia, East Africa and anywhere else that has a savanna like habitat, such as Southern Asia and Northern Iran.

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