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“Cheetah is one of the most well known large cat in the world, however it’s an atypical member of the Felidae family.

Check here why with the 5 amazing facts that we compiled for you :)”

1. Cheetah are the fastest land mammal on earth

Known to reach speeds of up to 120km per hour, the cheetah is recognized as being the world’s fastest land mammal. It can, however, only maintain this speed for ±100m. 

Photo: Shannon Wild

2. Cheetah are diurnal

Unlike most felines, the cheetah is primarily a diurnal predator.  It hunts in the early morning and late afternoon, often using termite mounds and tree stumps to get a higher point of view as it is dependent on sight rather than smell. However, it has been recently discovered that cheetah can also be quite active at night.

Photo: Shannon Wild

3. Cheetah are not “true big cats”

Although cheetah resemble other big cats in most of its features, they are in fact not classified as one of the ‘big cats’.

Cheetah are unable to retract their claws (such is with dogs) and they are mostly diurnal. The most distinguishing difference however, that separates cheetah from the big cats, is their lack of a floating hyoid bone in their neck, meaning they are unable to roar. 

4. Cheetah form Brotherhoods

 Male cheetahs are known to be more social than the solitary females. They form coalitions, called brotherhoods, of 2 – 4 individuals, and sometimes even more.

These coalitions are usually made up of brothers, however they will sometimes allow outsiders to join forces to be able to defend larger areas. 

Photos: Shannon Wild

5. Cheetah have “tears”

Cheetah’s tears, or lachrymal stripes, help to reflect the glare of the sun, particularly when hunting. Being mostly diurnal predators, they need any advantage they can get as their element of surprise is reduced in the light of day. 

Photo: Shannon Wild

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