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.

Animal Picture of the Day:
Sunset Cheetah

Cheetah in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, South Africa, at sunset. Source

Cheetah in the Hluhluwe-Umfolozi Game Reserve, South Africa, at sunset.

The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is well known as the fastest land animal on earth; the cheetah is capable of speeds of up to 75mph for short distances and can go from 0 to 60 in three seconds. The cheetah is also one of the only felines that can not retract its claws.

Unfortunately, the cheetah is a vulnerable species and has unusually low genetic variability. Of all the big cats, it is the least able to adapt to new environments. It has always proved difficult to breed in captivity, although recently a few zoos have managed to succeed at this.

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