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Apex predators – cats
Class Mammals
Order Хищные
Family Кошачьи
Distribution Africa

First of all, the cheetah is known as the best runner among the mammals. It can make over 100kmh at a short distance, which makes it possible to overtake not only a gazelle or a hare, but also the other famous sprinter, a sighthound. By the way, the body build of cheetahs is also similar to the body of a sighthound or any other long-legged dog. Cheetah’s body was made for running. It has long legs, deep chest similar to sighthound, lightweight muscular trunk, and flexible spine. Moreover, it is the only cat running in “spikes,” as cheetah has non-retractable claws. Even the binomial name “Acinonyx” means “immovable claws.” The colouring is yellowish with black spots covering the whole body; there are black stripes extending from the face. Body length is 115-140cm; while a rather massive tail reaches the length of 60-80cm. The height at the shoulder is 0.7-0.9m. An adult male weighs 40-65kg, the females are a little lighter. Cheetah is in the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (VU – Vulnerable).

Predator. Main target: gazelles, hares, guineafowls, young large antelopes (oryx, gnu) and zebras.
In wildlife cheetahs live 10 years on average (many animals die at the age of 3-5); in zoos they live much longer – up to 20 years