CLASSIFICATION OF CHEETAH – ACINONYX JUBATUS
PHYLUM :- CHORDATA (Notochord, dorsal tubular nerve cord present and gill slits present )
Group :- CRANIATA ( Definite head. Cranium with brain present )
Sub-phylum :- VERTEBRATA ( vertebral column present)
Division :- GNATHOSTOMATA ( Jaws and paired appendages present )
Super class :- TETRAPODA ( Paired limbs, lungs, bony skeleton and cornified skin).
Class :-MAMMALIA ( Body covered with hairs. females have mammary glands ).
Sub-class :- THERIA ( Viviparous ).
Infra class :- EUTHERIA ( Placental mammals, vagina single ).
Order :- Carnivora (Carnivorous)
Genus : Acinonyx
Species : jubatus
Cheetah mostly found in open savanas of Africa. From Asia their population
has been eliminated except in Iran.
HABIT AND HABITAT
Live in grasslands. An open area with some cover, such as diffused bushes, is probably ideal for the cheetah because it needs to stalk and pursue its prey over a distance. This also minimises the risk of encountering larger carnivores.
GENERAL CHARACTERSTICS OF CHEETAH – ACINONYX JUBATUS
- Commonly called as Cheetah or Hunting leopard.
- Body dog-like and divisible into head, neck, back, chest, abdomen and tail.
- Females slightly smaller than males. Males measure 30 inches in length and weight 130 pounds.
- Head small with a distinctive black stripe from the inner comer of each eye to the upperlip.
- All over body there are black spots.
- Forelimb and hind limbs comparatively larger. It walks on padded feet.
- It preys on small birds and antelopes.
- Gestation period of 84 to 95 days. Females give 2 to 4 cubs which are born with silvery mane which disappears when they are 2.5 months old.
- Cheetahs are induced ovulators and can breed throughout the year.
- They communicate by Chirping, Churring (or churtling), Purring.
- The cheetah has been classified as Vulnerable by the IUCN.
Cheetahs are fast runner, capable of running 60 miles per hour to overtake and pull down their prey.
The animal has black cry marks below the eyes and spotted body and all above features, hence it is Cheetah.
- Book of Practical Zoology VERTEBRATE by S.S.LAL – Rastogi Publications.