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Cheetah

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This article is about the animal. For other uses, see Cheetah (disambiguation).

Cheetah

Temporal range: Pleistocene–

Holocene, 1.9–0 Ma

PreЄ

Pg

N

Female cheetah in KwaZulu Natal, South


Africa

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Acoustic repertoire of cheetahs

Conservation status

Vulnerable (IUCN 3.1)[1]

Scientific classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Mammalia

Order: Carnivora

Suborder: Feliformia

Family: Felidae

Subfamily: Felinae

Genus: Acinonyx

Species: A. jubatus

Binomial name

Acinonyx jubatus
(Schreber, 1775)

Subspecies

 A. j. jubatus (Schreber, 1775)


 A. j. venaticus (Griffith, 1821)
 A. j. soemmeringii (Fitzinger, 1855)
 A. j. hecki (Hilzheimer, 1913)
The range of the cheetah

Former range Low density Medium

density High density

The cheetah (/ˈtʃiːtə/; Acinonyx jubatus) is a large cat of the subfamily Felinae that occurs
in Southern, North and East Africa, and a few localities in Iran. The species is IUCN Red
Listed as vulnerable, as it suffered a substantial decline in its historic range in the 20th century due
to habitat loss, poaching, illegal pet trade, and conflict with humans. By 2016, the global cheetah
population has been estimated at approximately 7,100 individuals in the wild. Several African
countries have taken steps to improve cheetah conservation measures.[1]
It is the fastest land animal. The only extant member of the genus Acinonyx, the cheetah was
formally described by Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1775. The cheetah is characterised
by a slender body, deep chest, spotted coat, small rounded head, black tear-like streaks on the face,
long thin legs and long spotted tail. Its lightly built, slender form is in sharp contrast with the robust
build of the big cats, making it more similar to the cougar. The cheetah reaches 70 to 90 cm (28 to
35 in) at the shoulder, and weighs 21–72 kg (46–159 lb). Although taller than the leopard, it is
notably smaller than the lion. Typically yellowish tan or rufous to greyish white, the coat is uniformly
covered with nearly 2,000 solid black spots.