Photographer's Note

The name "cheetah" comes from a Hindi word meaning "spotted one" or from the Sanskrit word "chitraka".

This cat is truly built for speed! Virtually every part of its body is adapted in some way to maximize running speed. Special paw pads and non-retractable claws provide great traction. Large nostrils and lungs provide quick air intake; a large liver, heart and adrenals also facilitate a rapid physical response. A long, fluid, greyhound-like body is streamlined over light bones. Small collarbones and vertical shoulder blades help lengthen the stride. The tail acts as a rudder for quick turning plus the eye's retinal fovea is of an elongated shape, giving the cheetah a sharp, wide-angle view of its surroundings. The dark tear marks beneath each eye may also enhance its visual acuity by minimizing the sun's glare. The spine works as a spring for the powerful back legs to give the cheetah added reach for each step.

The top speed, 71 miles per hour (114 kilometers per hour), can usually be maintained for only 200-300 yards. (274 meters).

Humans apply the name "cheetah" to both sexes - there are no special gender names. Two groups exist in wild populations: the family group and males. Males, often brothers, usually form a coalition of 2 or 3; only rarely will a male live alone. This coalition will live and hunt together for life claiming a range which may overlap several female territories. Young males seek out an area at a great distance from their parent; sometimes as far as 300 miles (482 kilometers). The average size of male territories is 37.4 square kilometers.

next Cheetah

ISO : 100
Film : Velvia Slide
Exposure Program : Aperture Priority
Focal Length : 200mm
Focus Distance : ~30m/100ft
Flash : No
Tripod : No
Web Size : no crop
Slide Scanner : Microtek Artixscan 4000t
Scan Size : 2000dpi @ 3,7D

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Additional Photos by Panos E Kazanelis (kazan) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 113 W: 59 N: 90] (779)
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