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See you soon I hope

See you soon I hope
Photo Information
Copyright: Vivian Droog (viv) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 292 W: 3 N: 653] (3317)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-01-09
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Konika Minolta Dynax 7D, Sigma 170-500mm f/5-6.3 AF APO Ultra DG, Soligor UV
Exposure: f/8, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Travelogue: Kruger a palette of Eden, they say.
Date Submitted: 2008-10-11 1:41
Viewed: 4519
Points: 2
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Here an upload of the cheetah I spotted last january, next week I will visit the Krugerpark again, I am so lucky, I know.
Then I hope to see the cheetah again because there will be less grass I suppose.
Thanks for looking

Description: Cheetah
Acinonyx Jubatus

Length: 3.7 to 4.4 feet
Tail: 2.74 feet
Weight: 88 to 140 pounds
Habitat: Open spaces which provide large area to run with brush as a cover.

The speed and stealth of the Cheetah makes up for its lack of climbing abilities and for this reason it is in a genus of its own. It is the fastest land mammal and can reach speeds of 70-75 miles per hour going from 0 to 68 mph in 3 seconds. Large nostrils allow for increased oxygen intake and an enlarged heart and lungs allow for efficient oxygen use during a high speed pursuit.

There is very little difference between the male and female Cheetah in regards to appearance with the male being slightly larger. The Cheetah chest is deep and the waist narrow with coarse, short fur that is tan in color with round black spots. The head is small with eyes set high. Black "tear marks" run from the corners of the eyes down the sides of its nose to its mouth to keep sunlight out and aids in hunting and seeing long distances. The paws have semi-retractable claws which aids in extra grip in its high speed chase.

Cheetahs are outranked by all other large predators. The death rate during the early weeks of a cheetahs life is 90% with cubs being killed by Lions, Hyena and Eagles among others. Cheetah cubs are hidden in thick brush and mothers will defend their young and in some cases have been successful at driving predators away.

Cheetah females reach maturity at 2 years old and mate throughout the year. Males reach maturity at 1 year but generally don't mate until 3 years of age. Females are considered promiscuous and will have cubs by several males. A litter can consist of 9 cubs but the average is 3-5.

Females tend to be solitary and raise their cubs alone till they are 18 months and then she leaves them to form a sib group lasting 6 months. The males are very social and will group together for life. They are very territorial and mark the area well. They will defend this territory against intruders and it usually results in injury or death. Females travel great distances and tend to overlap several other female territories.

Cheetahs do not roar but they are vocal in various ways.
Yipping: high pitched barking to find others or cubs
Growling: like domestic cats who are threatened, also hissing and spitting occurs.
Yowling: occurs when danger is present and is an escalated version of growling.
Purring: occurs when the Cheetah is content and mostly between mothers and cubs.

Cheetah prey on mammals weighing under 88 pounds. Their diet consists of Gazelle, Springbok and Impala as well as the young of Wildebeest and Zebra.

Cheetah hunt by vision and will stalk their prey to within 33-98 feet then give chase. The chase is over within 1 minute and the success rate of a hunt is 50%. The chase exerts so much strain on their bodies that they will rest after a kill before eating. Cheetahs hunt early morning and late afternoon when visibility is good. They bring down their prey by tripping and then biting the throat to suffocate, sometimes puncturing a vital artery. They will eat quickly before a larger mammal can take the kill aw

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Vivian, great shot of this fleet footed cat. Have a great weekend. Greetings from Alabama, USA.

Check out my personal website at:
Bill Houghton Photography

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