The cheetah is the fastest land mammal and can run as fast as 60 to 70 miles per hour. This is about the same speed as a car on the interstate. Though fast, cheetahs can only run short distances, and they require up to 30 minutes of rest before eating their prey. Many animals can outlast cheetahs if they can outrun the initial burst of speed.
A cheetah has several natural characteristics that make it an excellent hunter. In addition to the fact that its coat blends in with the dry grass that surrounds it, a cheetah also has excellent eyesight to locate and zero in on potential meals.
Cheetahs typically hunt smaller and mid-size animals, such as gazelles, impalas and hares. Even though cheetahs are great hunters, they're quickly becoming fewer in number because the population of their prey is decreasing and they're losing their habitats.
Most cheetahs live about 10 to 12 years. They're most often found in grassland areas of Africa and eastern Asia. Cheetahs weigh about as much as children, with most cheetahs weighing in at between 77 and 143 pounds. From head to hind legs, a cheetah's average length is approximately 6 to 8 feet long.