Scientific Name of Cheetah

Acinonyx jubatus

Cheetahs belong to the family Felidae, which also includes other big cats such as lions and tigers. Most of us know that the cheetah is the fastest animal on land, capable of running at speeds of at least 80km/h. Some specimens have been seen running as fast as 128 km/h. They can easily achieve these speeds because of their special body adaptations – such as a light, streamlined body, thin, sturdy legs and a long tail.

The average adult cheetah weighs between 21kgs to 62kgs. These animals measure between 3.6 ft to 4.9ft in length (head to body) and between 2.1ft to 3ft in height (at shoulders). One of the most recognisable features of this animal is its characteristic black spots. The coat is usually pale/creamy white in colour and the face of the animal has prominent, black, tear-like streaks running down to its snout.

4 subspecies have officially been identified and are as follows:

  • Southeast African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus)
  • Northeast African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringii)
  • Northwest African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus hecki)
  • Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus)

The Asiatic cheetah is found in Central Iran and it is also the only surviving cheetah population on the Asian continent. With just 43 individuals remaining in the wild, the Asiatic cheetah is the rarest among the three other subspecies. The IUCN Red List has classified this subspecies as “Critically Endangered.”

King Cheetah

A rare mutation in the fur pattern gave rise to the King Cheetah. Initially, it was considered an entirely different species as it varied significantly from its African counterpart. Its fur is cream-coloured, with large spots that have merged into three rows of stripes, running down its back. However, research has shown that it is the exact same species as the African Cheetah and the anomaly was caused by a mutation in a specific gene.

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Frequently Asked Questions on Acinonyx jubatus

What is the scientific name of the cheetah?

The scientific name of Cheetah is Acinonyx jubatus

Are there any subspecies of cheetahs?

Four subspecies of cheetahs have officially been identified. These are:

  • Asiatic cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus venaticus)
  • Northeast African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus soemmeringii)
  • Northwest African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus hecki)
  • Southeast African cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus jubatus)

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