family, rounded heads with short muzzles, strong teeth, five toes/claws on
front limbs and four on back limbs.
not a good climber and relies on speed rather
than stealth to catch prey.
In greek Acinonyx means
"no-moved claw." (Old world cheetah)-long-legged, spotted cat, non retractile claws. Present-day
cheetah actually has
Subspecies due to
South Africa- A.j.
jubatus East Africa- A.j. velox
East Africa- A.j.
raineyi Sudan- A.j. soemmeringii
tree shows the evolution of the
eight major cat lineages. However, the
of today's cats did not occur in this order. This tree
shows that some cats evolved independently from each other. For
cheetahs evolved about 5.5 million
years ago and are part of the Puma lineage.
Present day lions, tigers,
and jaguars evolved about 1.6 million years
These cats are part of the panthera lineage. The
closest living relatives
to the cheetah are pumas.
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