JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY JOHN READER / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) relaxing in undergrowth. These carnivores spend much of the day dozing in the shade, out of the glare of the Sun. They hunt small gazelles and other ungulates (hoofed mammals), getting as close as possible to the prey and then breaking into a very fast sprint. The cheetah is the fastest living land mammal, reaching speeds of over 110 kilometres per hour. These can only be sustained for short periods however, after which the chase is abandoned and the cheetah must rest. It is found in non-forested areas of Africa south of the Sahara and in Arabia from Iran to Kazakhstan.
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