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A cheetah cannot roar. Instead, when it is contented it will purr like a cat. Unlike the rest of the cat family, it does not know how to climb trees. It is the fastest land animal, reaching speeds between 112 kilometers per hour (70 mph) and 120 kilometers per hour (75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 460 meters (1,500 ft), and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to 110 kilometers per hour (68 mph) in three seconds, faster than most supercars.
In order to enable the cheetah to run as fast as it does, it has large nostrils that allow for increased oxygen intake, and an enlarged heart and lungs that work together to circulate oxygen efficiently. During a typical chase its respiratory rate increases from 60 to 150 breaths per minute. While running, in addition to having good traction due to its semi-retractable claws, the cheetah uses its tail as a rudder to make sharp turns, necessary to outflank prey which often make such turns to escape.
Running at speeds up to 120 kilometers an hour (75 mph) puts a great deal of strain on the cheetah’s body. When sprinting, the cheetah’s body temperature becomes so high that it would be deadly to continue for long - this is why the cheetah is often seen resting after it has caught its prey. The cheetah kills its prey by tripping it during the chase, then biting it on the underside of the throat to suffocate it, as the cheetah is not strong enough to break the necks of the four-legged prey it mainly hunts. The bite may also puncture a vital artery in the neck. After that, the cheetah proceeds to devour its catch as quickly as possible before the kill is taken by stronger predators.
This video shows cheetahs sprinting and catching their prey.
The cheetah is a carnivore, eating mostly mammals under 40 kg (88 lb),
While the other big cats often hunt by night, the cheetah is a diurnal hunter. It hunts usually either early in the morning or later in the evening when it is not so hot, but there is still enough light. The cheetah hunts by vision rather than by scent. Cheetahs look for individuals which have strayed some distance from their group, and do not necessarily seek out old or weak ones. Prey is stalked and then chased. This is usually over in less than a minute, and if the cheetah fails to make a catch quickly, it will give up.
Although cheetahs do not usually climb trees, they have been photographs and videos of cheetahs climbing trees.
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