DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY DR P. MARAZZI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Cheetah and cub. The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) differs from other cats as the father assists the mother for some time after birth. A litter may contain between one and eight cubs. Cheetah cubs are weaned after only six weeks, when they accompany their parents to kills rather than being brought food. This carnivore hunts small gazelles and other hoofed mammals (ungulates), getting as close as possible to its prey and then breaking into a very fast sprint. It 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 throughout non-forested areas of Africa south of the Sahara and in Arabia from Iran to Kazakhstan. Photographed in the Masai Mara National Reserve in Kenya, East Africa.
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