For the identification of insects and other fauna and flora of South Africa: please click on the following links:
Insects and related species: Antlions - Ants - Bees - Beetles - Bugs - Butterflies, Moths and Caterpillars - Centipedes and Millipedes - Cockroaches - Crickets - Dragonflies and Damselflies - Grasshoppers and Katydids - Mantis - Stick Insects - Ticks and Mites - Wasps - Woodlice
Plants, Trees, Flowers: (Note: Unless plants fall into a specific species such as Cacti, they have been classified by their flower colour to make them easier to find) Bonsai - Cacti, Succulents, Aloes, Euplorbia - Ferns and Cycads - Flowers - Fungi, Lichen and Moss - Grass - Trees
Animals, Birds, Reptiles etc.: Animals, Birds, Fish and Crabs - Frogs - Lizards - Scorpions - Snails and Slugs - Snakes - Spiders - Tortoise, Turtles and Terrapins - Whipscorpions
Other photography: Aeroplanes - Cars and Bikes - Travel - Sunrise - Water drops/falls - Sudwala and Sterkfontein Caves etc.

Videos: YouTube

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Cheetah

They are the only member of the cat family whose claws are not retractable after the age of three months. This has led to the misconception that cheetah belong to the dog family.
Cheetah do not stalk their prey as do lion and leopard, instead, they rely on their exceptional speed, which is 80kmph (48 mph) on average, but some people maintain can be as high as 112kmph (67mph).

Their name is derived from and Indian word “chita” which means “spotted one.”
The tail of these beautiful creatures is moved from right to left like rudders to facilitate their changing direction when in high speed pursuit of an intended victim.
An open environment is preferred by them, for, by lying on top of a raises raised piece of ground or anthill, they are able to spot their prey quite a distance away.
Cheetahs are easily distinguished. Even at a distance, the muscular shoulders sloping down to their hind quarters, stream-lined belly and small head can be seen.
Females will breed only after the current litter reaches the age of about two years. They are found in small family groups of two to five.

Impala and other medium sized antelope make up most of their diet, but they also eat hares, guinea fowl, ostrich, warthog and any other game which might be available.
Males will urinate on the boundaries of their territory and, as this smell lasts for about twenty four hours, they will need to do this fairly regularly to ensure that other cheetah males do not come into their area.
Info: Unique Facts about Wildlife in South Africa (Joan Young)

9 comments:

Dave said...

Arnt they just fabulous. We saw three together on an early morning drive from Satara. They had all just eaten and were lounging close to a junction. They all moved on but not before one of the males scent marked the junction "no entry" stone. Fabulous to witness.
Dave

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

They are always a pleasure to find and the area around Satara, they are always seen. A great section of the park for any viewing actually. Sounds like you had a great trip there. :)

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

They are very beautiful but the leopard is still top of my list where wild animals are concerned. Great photos. Have a good week Diane

Gaelyn said...

Magnificent creatures. Hope to see them again, soon.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

You sound like my mother Diane. :) Her and I always had this argument on which was the more beautiful as she preferred the leopard too. LOL!!

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Very definitely Gaelyn!! :) January is just around the corner.

retriever said...

Faboulous captures shots, wonderfull animals, have a nice week end.

SAPhotographs (Joan) said...

Thank you Louisette. You have a good weekend too.

Jonker Fourie said...

They really are beautiful animals