Cheetahs are one of my favorite cats. In 2005 I had the opportunity to follow a Cheetah mom and her four cubs for three days. I got many beautiful shots from these days. This week’s picture was never published before. Enjoy it!
View Point – A Cheetah with her cubs resting on a termite hill looking for prey on Mziki Marsh – Phinda Private Game Reserve – South Africa.
For more Cheetah pictures got to www.sperka.biz/cheetah.
If you would like to order a print of this images online go to http://www.sperka.biz/potw2012/h2ba335ce#h2ba335ce
The Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large-sized cat inhabiting most of Africa and parts of the Middle East. It is the only cat with non-retractable claws (therefore cheetahs cannot climb vertical trees, although they are generally capable of reaching easily accessible branches). It achieves by far the fastest land speed of any living animal—up to 120 km/h (75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m (1,600 ft), and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to over 100 km/h (62 mph) in three seconds.
The cheetah has unusually low genetic variability. It is thought that the species went through a prolonged period of inbreeding following a genetic bottleneck during the last ice age. The extinct genus Miracinonyx was extremely cheetah-like, but recent DNA analysis has shown that Miracinonyx (early to late Pleistocene epoch), found in North America and called the “North American cheetah” are not true cheetahs, instead being close relatives to the cougar.