Mother cheetah and cubs

Mother cheetah and cubs

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Credit: DR P. MARAZZI/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Mother cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) with her two cubs. Cheetahs are the fastest land animals on Earth. They can reach a top speed of over 110 kilometres per hour, but this is only achieved in short bursts of about 460 metres. Female cheetahs give birth to up to 9 cubs but typically around 3 to 5. The cubs are born with their characteristic spots and a downy underlying fur on their necks, called a mantle. They leave their mother between 13 and 20 months after birth. Photographed in the Serengeti National Park, Tanzania.

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