The fastest land mammal, Asiatic Cheetah, like other
subspecies of this amazing big cat, is built for speed.
A long and sleek body is balanced on slim, athletic
legs with semi-retractable claws that enable the cat
to maintain grip on ground in high speed pursuits. Weighing
in the range of eighty to one hundred and fifty pounds,
it is between four to five feet in length with a near
two and a half feet tail that acts as a rudder to stabilize
the Cheetah as it makes quick turns in hunts. Height
is about two and a half feet. Fur color is tawny and
hair are short and coarse. Black spots mark the length
of the body. Head is small and eyes are high set. Dark
tear like markings that run from the inside corners
of eyes, across the side of nose to mouth are thought
to protect the Cheetah's eyes from direct impact of
sun's rays as it chases its prey in bright daylight.
Residing in the barren lands of Iran, Cheetah is a traditionally
a daytime hunter. In Africa this is an adaptation to
avoid conflict with other bigger predators like lions,
hyenas and leopards that are active at night. Little
is known about the behavior and habits of the Asian
Cheetah, though it is known to prey upon gebeer and
goitered gazelle, wild goat and urial sheep. Cheetahs
have strong jaws and kill by the throat hold that suffocates
the prey animal. It is estimated that if they come within
two hundred yards of the prey by taking cover from bush
and grass, avoiding notice, then they have a reasonable
chance of success in making the kill. Unlike other big
cats, Cheetahs can be tamed and were used for centuries
by maharajahs in India to bring down gazelle, earning
the title of 'hunting leopard'.
Acinonyx Jubatus Venaticus, the Asiatic Cheetah is currently
recorded in desert and semi-arid shrubland in scattered
regions in Iran. Some unconfirmed sightings have been
made in the past in the Balochistan province of Pakistan,
however there is no evidence to back them up. Cheetahs
are to an extent migratory cats and often move around
in search for prey. This is particularly true in case
of females who don't hold as strongly to a territory
Not much is known about the reproductive profile of
Asiatic Cheetah. Mid winter is believed to be the peak
breeding season for the cats even though they have been
documented to mate year round. Litter size is reported
to be between one to four cubs with two being the average.
Independence is probably reached at eighteen months.
Lifespan is up to twelve to fourteen years.
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