The cheetah's distinguishing marks are the long teardrop shaped lines on each side of the nose from the corner of its eyes to its mouth. There are no spots on its white belly, and the tail has spots, which merge to form dark rings at the end. Distinctive individual ring patterns on the tail enable the identification of specific cheetahs. An adult cheetah weighs 80-140 lb., is about 32 in. tall at the shoulder and 48-56 in. long with another 28-32 in. in the tail.Males are a little larger than females. Of all the big cats, the cheetahs have the least strength and as a result they are often killed.
The Cheetah is most famous for its speed and can accelerate from zero to 40 mph in three strides and to full speed of 70 mph in seconds. As the cheetah runs, only one foot at a time touches the ground. There are two points, in its 20 to 25 foot stride when no feet touch the ground. The cheetah can run only 400 to 600 yards before it is exhausted at this time it is extremely vulnerable to other predators, which may not only steal its prey, but attack it as well. Its body is narrow, lightweight with long, slender feet and legs, and specialized muscles, which act simultaneously for high acceleration and allowing greater swing to the limbs. Its hip and shoulder girdles swivel on a flexible spine that curves up and down, as the limbs are alternately bunched up and then extended when running, giving greater reach to the legs. The cheetah's long and muscular tail acts as a stabilizer for balance to counteract its body. The cheetah is the only cat with short, blunt semi non-retractable claws that help grip the ground for traction when running. Their paws are less rounded than the other cats, and their pads are hard, similar to tire treads, to help them in fast, sharp turns.
Cheetahs are distributed primarily throughout the drier parts of Africa. They are …

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