1. Cheetahs are the fastest of all land mammals, reaching speeds of up to seventy five miles per hour.
2. Cheetahs are in fact capable of generating incredible bursts of speed, reaching from zero to hundred kilometers per hour in less than three seconds, outdoing most modern sports cars.
3. Often considered as the smallest of the big cats, Cheetahs are unique since they can only purr and not roar like the other great cats.
4. Another singular attribute of the Cheetah is presence of semi-retractable claws. This enables them to maintain their grip on earth in high speed pursuits.
5. Cheetahs also have distinguishing markings on their cheeks, resembling 'flowing tears', that reflect sunlight and enable the cat to see clearly for long distances during a chase.
6.Essentially built for the kill, Cheetahs have long streamlined bodies and a rudder like tail, that assist the cat in its movement and balance during quick turns in a chase.
7. Yet other adaptations exist that have enabled the Cheetah to evolve into prolific hunters. These include large heart and lungs, big adrenals and wide nostrils - all assisting the felid in making cardiorespiratory adjustments for their stressful charge.
8. Owing to the great effort that Cheetahs put in their hunting approach, they tire easily. Their body temperature reaches dangerously high levels following their sprint and thus they must rest afterwards. It is at this point in time that they are most vulnerable and often lose their hard-earned kills to opportunistic predators like hyenas and vultures.
9. Therefore, due to competition, Cheetahs hunt during day instead of night and eat quickly and nervously after taking down the prey.
10. Cheetahs normally prey upon gazelles, springboks and impalas, employing the throat bite to crush the victim's windpipe. At times though, coalitions of adult male Cheetahs have been known to attack wildebeests and even zebras. With a success rate of nearly fifty percent, Cheetahs are amongst the most industrious of all hunting felines
11. Cheetahs have an organized social structure, with females leading a solitary life after rearing of the cubs and males usually bonding and hunting in groups to lead a territorial existence. Turf wars occasionally occur between males and are often bloody and fatal.
12. Even though Cheetahs have a large litter size, lack of genetic variability and conflicts with larger predators including lions, leopards and hyenas mean that only a fraction of Cheetah cubs reach adulthood. This does not bode well for their already dwindling number in the wild, owing to shrinking habitats and conflicts with humans.
13. Unique from leopards and jaguars due to the presence of spots instead of rosettes, and a lighter body, Cheetahs are placed into a separate genus for taxonomic purposes. Acinonyx Jubatus, the remarkable cats exist today in limited numbers in Africa and Asia (Iran). Largest population is seen in Namibia, Southern Africa.