Known as the fastest land animals, cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) are members of the big cat family, which includes tigers, jaguars, lions, leopards, snow leopards and pumas. Their name comes from the Hindi word “chita,” which means “spotted one,” according to the book “Cheetahs: Biology and Conservation” (Elsevier, 2018).

With aerodynamic bodies, long legs, and blunt, semi-retractable claws, cheetahs are formidable carnivores that can sprint at speeds of 60 to 70 mph (96 to 112 km/h), according to the Smithsonian’s National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute

What do cheetahs look like?


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