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Human beings find shelter in apartment buildings, townhouses and ranch-style homes, just to start. Animals are just as diverse in this respect. Some creatures live in trees, while others dig burrows in the soil. Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) are speedy felines that usually rest by trees.
These carnivorous cats typically set up homes in habitats such as deserts, semi-deserts, savannas, grasslands, arid woodlands and scrubby settings. They gravitate to wide open environments. Cheetahs do not inhabit tropical rain forests. The independent cats hunt in the lightness of the day, and the tall grasses of their surroundings enable them to remain inconspicuous and under the radar as they do so. Cheetahs mostly stay on terra firma, but it isn't unheard of them to ascend trees once in awhile.
Trees as Shelter
When cheetahs need to retreat, they typically head over to trees. They usually sleep under the cover that trees provide. Not all cheetahs inhabit locations with ample vegetation, however. If cheetahs can't track down suitable trees, they look for any shady areas. They seek out locations that give them a sense of security from the vigilant eyes of potential predators.
Other Forms of Shelter
While many animals take it upon themselves to construct their own shelters, cheetahs aren't part of that category. They seek options that already exist. Apart from trees, the agile and willowy mammals frequently find shelter amidst high grasses and thick plants. Cheetahs sometimes even relax on sizable termite mounds. Since termite mounds are often tall, cheetahs frequently employ them to watch out for nearby prey targets. Cheetahs don't only use the shelter of grass and plants for basic resting purposes, they also use it to give birth to their youngsters. Cheetah mothers typically give birth to their offspring while surrounded by vegetation.
Animal Threats to Cheetahs
Hiding away from predators is a big goal in shelter for cheetahs. While cheetahs are major predators, many others routinely prey on them, too. Leopards, hyenas and lions are all hazards to cheetahs. They are particularly prominent threats to the youngsters of the species. Mature cheetahs typically run away from would-be predators.
Adult cheetahs usually are between 3.5 and 4.5 feet long. Some of them weigh merely 77 pounds, while others are significantly heftier at more than 140 pounds. They have trim physiques and elongated limbs. Females are usually smaller than the boys. Their fur is beige with signature dark markings. Cheetahs have somewhat circular heads, rough coats and tiny ears.
- Cheetah Conservation Fund: Frequently Asked Questions
- National Geographic: Cheetah
- Defenders of Wildlife: Cheetah
- University of Michigan Animal Diversity Web: Acinonyx Jubatus
- IUCN Red List of Threatened Species: Acinonyx Jubatus
- San Diego Zoo Library: Cheetah
- Wild Cats of the World; Barbara Sleeper and Art Wolfe
- Cheetahs; Tammy Gagne
- Digital Vision./Photodisc/Getty Images