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.
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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.
This weeks picture if of a Cape Buffalo Bull. The picture was taken at Phinda Private Game Reserve, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.
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And this is my EYES series version of the image in black&white:
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About Cape Buffalo:
The Cape Buffalo, Affalo, Nyati, Mbogo or African Buffalo (Syncerus caffer) is a large African bovine. It is not closely related to the slightly larger wild Asian water buffalo. Owing to its unpredictable nature which makes it highly dangerous to humans, it has not been domesticated, unlike its Asian counterpart, the domestic Asian water buffalo.
The Buffalo is a very robust species. Its shoulder height can range from 1 to 1.7 m (3.3 to 5.6 ft) and its head-and-body length can range from 1.7 to 3.4 m (5.6 to 11 ft). Buffalo weigh up to 910 kg (2,000 lb), with males, normally larger than females.
Buffalo have few predators and are capable of defending themselves against (and killing) lions. Lions do kill and eat buffalo regularly, but it typically takes multiple lions to bring down a single adult buffalo.
This week’s picture is of four Cheetah cubs looking straight into my camera at sunrise on a cold winter morning.
The picture was taken at on Mziki Marsh, my favorite area on Phinda Private Game Reserve, Kwazulu Natal, South Africa.
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 semi-retractable claws. Cheetahs achieve by far the fastest land speed of any living animal – between 110 and 120 km/h (70 and 75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m (1,600 ft), and have the ability to accelerate from 0 to over 100 km/h (62 mph) in three seconds.
Females give birth after a gestation period of ninety to ninety-eight days. The average litter size is three to five. Cubs are born with a downy underlying fur on their necks, called a mantle. This gives them a Mohawk-type appearance. This fur is shed as the cheetah grows older. It has been speculated this mane gives a Cheetah cub the appearance of the honey badger, to scare away potential aggressors. Cubs leave their mother between thirteen and twenty months after birth. Life span is up to twelve years in the wild, but up to twenty years in captivity. Unlike males, adult females are solitary and tend to avoid each other.
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