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With a sprint speed faster than most cars, 0-60 mph in 4 seconds, it's not surprising that the cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world. Cheetahs are extreme quick and agile but only for short bursts. These cats tend to sneak as close as they can to their prey before charging out of hiding to run down their target. The chase lasts less than a minute in most cases yet leaves the cheetah so exhausted they can barely drag their prize to safe spot to eat.
Thin and long-legged, cheetahs appear taller than the average 32" they stand when full grown. They are among the lightest of the great cats, weighing between 80-140 lbs. Their tan fur and black spots help them blend in as they stalk their prey. The spots are scattered all over their bodies, only their lighter underside isn't covered with them. Their long tails, which help with balance, sport rings instead of spots and end in a white tuft. On their face they have a distinctive black marks running from the inside corners of their eyes down to their mouth. Another interesting fact about cheetahs is they cannot retract their claws like other cats. It's believed that their stationary claws help with traction when running down prey.
The mating season peaks during the rainy season, from November until around May. The babies are born about 3 months later, in a litter of one to three cubs on average. They remain in the den until they're old enough and strong enough to follow their mother and learn to hunt. Unfortunately, very few cubs make it to adulthood. The mortality rate for cheetah cubs is terribly high, many fall victim to disease or are attacked by other predators. Their mother protects and teaches them as best she can for almost two years before they depart to find their own territory and survive on their own.