Zoological name: The zoological name of cheetah is Acinonyx
jubatus. There are mainly two subspecies- the African cheetah
(A.j.jubatus) and the Asiatic cheetah (A.j.venaticus).
Distribution: The fastest land animal, the cheetah is found in Africa, South Asia and Middle East. In India, the last cheetah .~ in the wild was found in 1947.
Habitat: They inhabit in most habitats such as open woodlands, grass lands, scrub and open plains. However, they prefer to live in open semi-desert country.
Physical feature: A cheetah measures about 7 ft in length including tail. The body weight varies from 50 to 80 kg. The colour is tawny to buff or grayish white, and the coat is spotted with small and solid round black spots almost throughout the body. A loose and slim built, small and round head, high-set eyes with round pupils, small and round ears, long and thin legs and a deep narrow chest are the distinctive features of a cheetah. Unlike other felids, the feet are furnished with hard pads. The well developed claws are blunt and is not covered by a sheath when retracted, and remain exposed and extended (i.e. non-retractile claws). However, sometimes it becomes semi-retractile. The most salient feature is its "tear stripe" or a black line which runs down from the corner of each eye to the upper lip. Its nasal passage is larger than that of other big cats thereby allowing an increased air intake which enables the cheetah to maintain a relentless suffocating bite.