Archive for the 'Acinonyx' category

The Giant American Cheetah was not fast, but powerful

(Friday, September 9th, 2016)

You certainly heard about the American Cheetah, this long-lost fossil of a cheetah which was living in North America up to about three million years ago. While the term calls images of a slender speeding cat, it seems that this was more a Giant Cheetah than a Cheetah.

The Miracinonix genus was made of two species (as far as we know today) which appear to have been at least twice as big as current African cheetahs and as large as an American cougar or mountain lion. And they were probably not as slender and not as fast as those current cats.

But a Sorbonne University paleontologist, Denis Geraads, also analyzed the structure of the fossil craniums and compared it to the common cheetah cranium (see his paper). He concludes that the giant cheetah had jaws so much more powerful that they had probably a different kill strategy. The African cheetah is not very powerful so it relies on a kiss-of-death solution (holding/strangling its victim neck until it dies from asphyxation), while the Miracinonix was probably strong enough to crush through a skull (or break its victim’s neck).

Cheetah skulls

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You never saw a cheetah run like that

(Tuesday, May 31st, 2016)

Actually, the Cincinnati Zoo posted a video of Savanna, a cheetah. But the camera was… on the shoulders of the cheetah.

Bumpy ride at full speed, but nice to see.

A cheetah plays in the snow!

(Tuesday, January 26th, 2016)

This is not usual: A cheetah playing in fresh snow.

Not more common: A cheetah playing with a dog.

But it was in a zoo…

Cheetah’s speed machine run in images

(Wednesday, April 29th, 2015)

I love the way cheetahs outperform many man-made machines in terms of acceleration and speed. But I also love it when somebody demonstrates beautifully how it works and gives us some stats and facts about cheetahs.

Lovely visit to be done to Cheetah’s Nature speed machine.

Cheetah as a speed machine

My GoPro against the cheetah

(Wednesday, December 11th, 2013)

That should be the title of this video where a wild cheetah goes exploring this weird object left by a wildlife videographer: a GoPro camera.

You wouldn’t expect a cheetah to be so cute.

Big cats play with light too

(Thursday, November 24th, 2011)

YouTube link

The baby cheetah who mewed?

(Thursday, November 17th, 2011)

Did you see a baby cheetah mew before?

YouTube link

King cheetah: Where to see one?

(Monday, January 17th, 2011)

You looking at me?
Creative Commons License photo credit: jurvetson

King cheetahs are not so exceptional that you can’t see them in zoos (but you may have to travel to meet them). I wondered if it was possible to list of zoos of the world which have at least one of them in exhibition.

Of course, such a list cannot be permanently up-to-date without the help of the readers of YLoveBigCats. Please, feel free to comment to add new locations (or tell when the last king cheetah of a zoo unfortunately died, as it happens sometimes).

Locations which previously had king cheetahs:

King cheetah, in Zoo Tycoon 2

(Monday, January 17th, 2011)

King Cheetah

King cheetah in Zoon Tycoon 2

If you play Zoo Tycoon 2, you may “adopt” cheetahs. Did you know that, with the help of some chance, if you adopt a sufficiently large number of cheetahs, the game will offer you a king cheetah (easily recognizable by its fur more striped than spotted)?

Extinction(s) on French TV (France5)

(Sunday, August 1st, 2010)

Some species of mammals are clearly confronted with the immediate risk of extinction. And, when I shoot photos of some of these at the other end of the world, I am often shocked by the immense chance I have to be able to still see these animals free in the wild for the years they have left.

For example, cheetahs were submitted to a major event of reduction in genetics diversity during the last Ice Age (less than 10,000 animals fought for survival during thousands of years). Today, the enormous competition pressure brought by Man and “its civilization”, on top of the stark competition from other carnivorous mammals (like hyenas), will most certainly bring cheetah out of the African savannas in a few years (maybe less than 20 years).

Tigers are also in a nearly desperate situation today: The last wild animals are already living in relatively small Reserves where, even free in the wild, they have become tourism subjects without being fully protected from poaching or illegal culling.


This is the context when Frédéric Lepage created a series of TV documentaries about a few emblematic species (cheetah, orangutan, tiger, elephant, jaguar, polar bear): Extinctions

I strongly recommend your being in front of the TV (France 5, French TV channel), to watch the episode for Tiger, on Friday 6 August 2010 at 20h30.


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Latest update: 23-nov-15