“At five months the cubs be­gin to play fight and prac­tice the skills they will need later in life to be­come killing ma­chines”

World of Animals - - 30 Amazing Facts About Cheetahs -

Chee­tahs are (al­most) so­cial cats

Most adult fe­males live soli­tary lives aside from when they have cubs to feed. Males from the same lit­ter form groups called coali­tions in which they hunt to­gether. Ado­les­cent fe­males may join their broth­ers if the lit­ter was pre­dom­i­nantly fe­male. There is lit­tle ag­gres­sion be­tween group mem­bers dur­ing feed­ing aside from growl­ing, and the cats help one another to sur­vive the tough African plains.

Chee­tahs come in four dis­tinct va­ri­eties

All four share the sci­en­tific name Aci­nonyx ju­ba­tus, but each has a third name to iden­tify it. Along with hav­ing their own names, the chee­tah sub­species are di­vided by geog­ra­phy. The South­ern African chee­tah is the ‘true’ form of the species. As the name sug­gests, it in­hab­its the tip of Africa from South Africa all the way up to Kenya.

The Asi­atic chee­tah di­verged 0.3 to 0.7 mil­lion years ago. Once found through­out much of Cen­tral Asia, it now oc­curs in three sub­pop­u­la­tions in Iran.

North­east African chee­tahs live in South Su­dan, Ethiopia and Eritrea. As lit­tle as 16,000 years separate it from the other sub­species, in­clud­ing the North­west African chee­tah. Less than 250 an­i­mals make up this type of big cat, spread across Al­ge­ria, Niger and Burk­ina Faso.

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