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5 Fast Facts About Cheetahs

Test your cheetah knowledge.
  1. Annabelle at ABQ BioPark. Although now found in Africa, the cheetah is believed to have originated in the Americas. The slender big cat started its migration into Asia about 100,000 years ago via the Beringian land bridge. The cats then moved southward into Africa.
  2. The cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal. They can run as fast as a car on the interstate—up to 70 mph. And they can reach that speed in just 3 seconds!
  3. Those black tear lines on either side of a cheetah’s nose function like a football player’s black face paint, keeping the sun out of the big cat’s eyes while they hunt.
  4. A cheetah’s claws don’t retract when they run. Instead, they act like cleats to help the cheetah reach its top speeds.
  5. When running, cheetahs use their tail to steer, like a rudder for a boat.