Sunday, May 29, 2016
The cheetah or hunting leopard (Acinonyx Jubatus) is a vulnerable species of big cat native to Africa and Southwest Asia. Cheetahs in Asia now occur in Iran and also used to live in India until 1950. The extinct American cheetah instead lived in the Miracinonyx genus. There are 5 cheetah subspecies alive, 3 vulnerable and 2 critically endangered. The subspecies are the South African, Tanzanian, Sudan, Northwest African, and Asiatic. Cheetahs used to live everywhere throughout the Middle East and India. It is the only extant member of the Acinonyx genus. This is a South African cheetah, which is the nominate species. It is the most medium sized big cat in Africa and is basically yellowish tan or rufous to greyish white, the coat is uniformly covered with nearly 2,000 solid black spots. The Asiatic cheetah and South African are the best known cheetah species. Although they aren't leopards, they are called hunting leopards because of their spots and are the fastest land animal, reaching speeds of up to 75 mph.