Cheetah Feb09 02

African Cheetah (Wikipedia picture)

The cheetah made its debut (and sole appearance) in episode four. Nigel Marven is seen with a cheetah in the beginning of Episode 4 of Prehistoric Park. Nigel says that cheetahs like this one are becoming endangered because they are very specialized, similar to what he believes may also have caused the Smilodon to become extinct.

 Cheetahs are the fastest land mammals alive today, capable of running up to 70-80 miles per hour. They live mainly in Africa, with a small, critically-endangered remaining population of the Asiatic Cheetah living in Iran. The Saharan Cheetah is critically endangered too. Cheetahs have only partially retractable claws, unlike other members of the cat family. The scientific name of the Cheetah is Acinonyx jubatus. Due to their frailty, Cheetahs can only risk preying on small antelope and gazelle, as larger prey could inflict nasty injuries. Their gestation period is three months, and the cubs take one to two years to mature. African Cheetahs are listed as a vulnerable species, while the Asiatic Cheetah is critically endangered, with less than 100 left in Iran. They are being poached for their fur, their habitat is under threat, and they have been killed for attacking livestock.

Cheetah running at 70-80 mph (phplinkdirectory picture)

It is not known whether the cheetah shown in Prehistoric Park actually lives at the park itself.