Cheetah Stalking Alert in Grass

The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is an atypical member of the cat family (Felidae) that is unique in its speed, while lacking climbing abilities. As such, it is placed in its own genus, Acinonyx. It is the fastest land animal, reaching speeds between 112 kilometres per hour (70 mph) and 120 kilometres per hour (75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 460 metres (1,500 ft), and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to 110 kilometres per hour (68 mph) in three seconds, greater than most supercars. The cheetah hunts by vision rather than by scent. The word cheetah is derived from the Sanskrit word chitrakāyaḥ, meaning variegated body, via the Hindi cītā. The cheetah's chest is deep and its waist is narrow. The coarse, short fur of the cheetah is tan with round black spots measuring from 2 centimetres (0.79 in) to 3 centimetres (1.2 in) across, affording it some camouflage while hunting. There are no spots on its white underside, but the tail has spots, which merge to form four to six dark rings at the end. The tail usually ends in a bushy white tuft. The cheetah has a small head with high-set eyes. Black tear marks run from the corner of its eyes down the sides of the nose to its mouth to keep sunlight out of its eyes and to aid in hunting and seeing long distances. The adult cheetah weighs from 40 kilograms (88 lb) to 65 kilograms (140 lb). This photograph is part of the Imagine Images Collection, hosted by dreamstime.

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