Animal Picture of the Day:
Run, Cheetah, Run


Photo by Malene Thyssen

Classified as endangered, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is the fastest land animal on earth. Capable of running up to 70 miles per hour, the cheetah’s slender, long-legged body with non-retracting claws and a uniquely shaped tail is built for speed. Its lovely spotted coat, small head and ears, and distinctive “tear stripes” from the corner of the eyes down the sides of the nose make the cheetah highly recognizable among the large cats of Africa.

Due to things such as increasing loss of habitat, declines in prey, high cub mortality rates, and conflict with ranchers, a successful future for the cheetah is doubtful.

The cheetah is one of’s favorites of all animal species.

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Animal Picture of the Day:
Cliff-Side Snow Leopard

Snow leopard

Despite sharing its name with the African leopard, the snow leopard is not believed to be closely related to the leopard or the other big cats, and is classified as the sole member of the genus Uncia uncia. The snow leopard is found in the high mountains of Central Asia, specifically the Himalayas, Altai, and Hindu Kush. Each snow leopard needs a broad home range covering about 100 square miles because of the lack of abundant prey. Snow leopards are solitary creatures and pair up only during the breeding season.

Snow leopards are extremely rare in most of their range due to the demand for skins. An estimated 3,000 to 7,000 are left in the wild and about 370 in captivity. Although trade in snow leopard furs is illegal, it continues, threatening the snow leopard’s existence.

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This is Why You Can’t Outrun a Cheetah


With a flexible spine and feet like tire treads, the cheetah is built not only for speed, but for unrivaled acceleration. The cheetah leaves even supercars in the dust, going from zero to 60 in just three seconds. The cheetah moves so fast that its feet spend more time in the air than on the ground with a double-suspension stride. The cheetah’s tail works like a rudder, coupled with its non-retracting claws for amazing agility in sharp turns. Nope, you aren’t going to outrun a cheetah.

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