Completely random about cheetahs.

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ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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29 Oct 2016, 9:48 am

Right now I am watching an episode of NBC's Wilderness Vet with Cheetahs in captivity. Most big cats need to be tranquilized to approach and handle. I am surprised these cheetahs are so docile, they can be directly handled by their keepers! They don't mind it at all and will groom their hands which is an indication of affection. In the wild, cheetahs have it rougher because they are solitary and can find raising young particularly challenging. Their cubs are especially vulnerable to lions and hyenas. They aren't cats, exactly, despite appearance. Their claws do not contract. Oddly, they do not form packs lIke species of canine despite the relation.

While watching them, it struck me, if a wild animal is going to be kept privately, this species could be a better choice than a tiger or lion yet it seems like owners always gravitate toward the species that are the most stressed out being kept in cages, forced to interact with people.



naturalplastic
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29 Oct 2016, 10:29 am

Cheetahs are definitely cats despite their inability to retract their claws.

Recent genetic studies show that cheetahs are on a unique branch of the cat family tree with only one other species. That species is the American Mountain lion (or cougar).

They do have a history with humans. The princes of Middle Ages India and the middle East used them much like falcons, for hunting. They were called "hunting leopards". The cheetah would ride with you on your horse. You would point to game and release the cat and it would run down the prey for you like a ground bound falcon.



Many cats start out life spotted. If you look closely at pics of baby African lion cubs you will notice that they have spots on their undersides which they later outgrow. American mountain lions are also born spotted.

But the spots on baby African lions are in a rosette pattern (virtually identical to the spots on adult leopards).

The spots on baby cougars are single oval spots not in a rosette. Virtually identical to the spots on adult cheetahs. I used to have a pic of each side by side in my computer desktop: baby cougars next to a pic of an adult cheetah because the two kinds of cats look so similar.



ooOoOoOAnaOoOoOoo
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30 Oct 2016, 3:02 pm

Cheetahs are most elegant.