Evolution Of Cheetah Essay

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EVOLUTION OF THE CHEETAH Tarik Tillman Table of Contents 1. Phylogenetic Tree……………………………… 2 2. Animal’s Current State………………………… 3 3. Phylogenetic Tree Animals today are facing many environmental stresses like the declince of prey and the loss habitat. Animals deal with these stresses by adapting using the mechanisms of evolution: founder effect, bottleneck, nonrandom mating, mutation, and natural selection. The animal we’ll be focusing on is the Acinonyx Jubatus, also known as the cheetah. According to the phylogenetic tree, the cheetah came from a common, but distant ancestor as the trout while sharing a common and more closely related ancestor with the red fox. The evolutionary path that led to the cheetah is shown below: As…show more content…
The average size of a cheetah is 3.5 to 4.5 ft in height and 77 to 143 in weight. The cheetah is the world’s fastest land mammal; the cheetah can reach a top speed of 70 mph in a matter of 3 seconds, but the average speed of a cheetah is about 40 mph. This large cat can be found in Southern, North, and East Africa and some localities in Iran, but mainly in Eastern and Southern Africa. The cheetah’s species is IUCN Red listed as “vulnerable” due to the suffering of habitat loss, poaching, illegal pet trades, conflict with humans, and decline of prey. cheetahs inhabit various habitats within Africa such as dry forests, scrub forests, and savannahs. Acorrding to Wikipedia, “the range across the continent has declined to a mere 10% of the historic expanse. The range in eastern africa has reduced to 6% of the original range, so that presently it is distributed in an area of 310,586 km2 (119,918 sq mi). The range has not reduced as much in the southern part of the continent, where it occurs in an area of 1,223,388 km2 (472,353 sq mi.), 22% of its original range”. The climate is rather hot and dry and only recieves on average about 20-30 inches of rain per year. The cheetah’s diet consists of animals like: gazelles, antelopes, wildebeests, and any other small animals (rabbits, hares, birds). Cheetahs are diurnal animals with poor night vision. They prefer to hunt their prey during the daytime hours, especially in the late morning and early evening. During their hunts, cheetah cubs are left vulnerable to predators such as large eagles, hyenas, lions, and

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