My Wild Cat paintings are inspired by my love for these magnificent animals. "ICU" is my painting of a Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). The name "cheetah" comes from a Hindi word meaning "spotted one" or from the Sanskrit word "chitraka". "ICU" stands for - "I see you", behind me!
The cheetah is the world's fastest land mammal and can go from 0 to 60 miles per hour (96 kilometers mph) in only three seconds. Cheetahs can run at speeds of up to 70 miles per hour (112 kilometers mph) and are off the ground more than half of their running time. They are truly built for speed! The following characteristics show how virtually every part of a cheetah's body in some way helps it run faster:
But the great speed of the Cheetah is very taxing physically and can usually only be maintained for 200-300 yards. (274 meters). At that point the cheetah's body temperature increases from the exertion and rest is mandatory.
The cheetah is the most primitive of all cats, evolving approx. 18 million years ago, long before the other big cats. The cheetah is the sole member of its genus - all other species have become extinct. Cheetahs are native to Africa and Asia and the common habitat are grasslands, forests and desert-like plains. The cheetah is a very vulnerable species. Unlike most cats, it's the least able to adapt to changes in new environments. They have always been difficult to breed in captivity, though recently some zoos have been successful. Cheetahs do not roar like lions or tigers, but they purr, hiss, whine and growl. They also make a variety of contact calls; the most common is a birdlike chirping sound called a "chirrup". An adult cheetah weighs 80-140 pounds (36-64 kilograms), is about 32 inches (81 centimeters) tall at the shoulder and 48-56 inches (121-142 centimeters) long with another 28-32 inches (70-81 centimeters) in tail - males are a little larger than females. A Cheetah's life span is up to12 years in the wild and up to 17 in captivity.
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