Cheetah, (Acinonyx jubatis) You have to look very carefully to spot the spots in our landscape as cheetah camouflage so well in the fynbos. The brother coalition (2 males) on Gondwana Game Reserve have become experts at hunting in this environment. They have also mastered the art of sharing this territory with their ultimate natural rival – lions.
Cheetah are one of the most incredible cats with a body modified for speed. Their bones are less dense than other animals which makes them lighter, their head is small and more aerodynamic. They have incredibly flexible backs and the tail of the cheetah acts as a rudder helping them to turn fast and keep their balance. A cheetah’s back legs are also much larger than the front legs and their feet are more slender than other predators and make minimal contact with the ground while running. They even have an enlarged heart, lungs, liver, nose and sinuses to help with oxygen intake and metabolism when running.
Males can form coalitions, while females are solitary. The bond between males becomes strong and can be seen as a brother bond. This bond aids in their defense against other predators and likelihood to mate with a female and pass on their genetics.
📸 Jolandie Buck, @jolandieb3
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