The cheetah (pronounced /ˈchē-tə/) (Acinonyx jubatus), also known as the hunting leopard, is a big cat that occurs mainly in eastern and southern Africa and a few parts of Iran. The only extant member of the genus Acinonyx, the cheetah was first described by Johann Christian Daniel von Schreber in 1775.
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The cheetah is characterised by a slender body, deep chest, spotted coat, a small rounded head, black tear-like streaks on the face, long thin legs and a long spotted tail. Its lightly built, thin form is in sharp contrast with the robust build of the other big cats.