CheetahMarch 31, 2014 – Fastest mammal on land, the cheetah can reach speeds of 60 or perhaps even 70 miles (97 or 113 kilometers) an hour over short distances. It usually chases its prey at only about half that speed, however. After a chase, a cheetah needs half an hour to catch its breath before it can eat. The cheetah's excellent eyesight helps it find prey during the day. The cheetah is hard to see because its spotted coat blends with the tall, dry grass of the plains. Suddenly, the cheetah makes a lightning dash. It knocks its prey to the ground and then bites its throat. Once found throughout Asia and Africa, cheetahs today are racing toward extinction. Loss of habitat and declining numbers of their prey combine to threaten the future of these cats. Cheetahs live and hunt mainly in open grasslands and bushy areas in parts of Africa and the Middle East. Cheetahs eat small- to medium-size animals, such as hares, impalas, wildebeest calves, and gazelles. Because of their size, strength, and predatory skills, cheetahs are considered one of the “big cats.” Tigers, lions, leopards, jaguars, and cougars are also part of this grouping. Take the big cat quiz to see how much you know about these fierce felines. Then, just for fun, see which wild cat you’re most like with our personality quiz.
Helping Cheetahs Win the Race to SurviveDecember 01, 2014 – Cheetah numbers have dwindled in the past century, but kids can make a difference in helping to ensure their survival.
Moment of Yikes!September 09, 2015 – From the tops of trees to the bottom of the ocean, nature is full of strange and creepy creatures. We’ve rounded up 10 of the freakiest animals that are sure to make you say, 'Yikes!'
Big catsMay 28, 2019 – Do you know the facts on big cats? Find out with this fun quiz about some of nature's fiercest felines! Out of the 37 species of cats, some reign supreme. Because of their size, strength, and predatory skills, these cats are considered the “big cats.” Get facts and photos about tigers, lions, leopards, cheetahs, jaguars, and cougars.
WarthogMarch 01, 2014 – With four tusks and large shovel-shaped heads, warthogs look fierce, but they often avoid fighting predators such as lions, cheetahs, leopards, wild dogs, or hyenas by running away or dodging into a burrow. Warthogs can run as fast as 30 miles (48 kilometers) an hour, often outdistancing a pursuer. When cornered by predators, warthogs will attack with their sharp lower tusks, which can measure 6 inches (15 centimeters) long. Older warthogs have long curved upper tusks that can grow as long as 2 feet (61 centimeters). Warthogs are generally peaceful, but sometimes a male may attack another male during mating season.
Magazine Extras!November 09, 2016 – In this issue of National Geographic Kids, scientists use cutting-edge technology to investigate the cheetah's mysterious skills. We'll take you on a trip to the future to find out how you might get around in the year 2060. Then get the scoop on some hilarious science experiments. Plus discover the hidden superpowers of the scaly pangolin.
JaguarMarch 01, 2014 – Jaguars are the largest of South America's big cats and the third largest cats in the world. Their fur is usually tan or orange with black spots, called "rosettes" because they are shaped like roses. Some jaguars are so dark they don't seem to have spots. Unlike many other cats, jaguars do not avoid water; in fact, they are quite good swimmers. Rivers provide prey in the form of fish, turtles, or caimans—small, alligatorlike animals. Jaguars also eat larger animals such as deer, peccaries, capybaras, and tapirs. They sometimes climb trees to prepare an ambush, killing their prey with one powerful bite. Because of their size, strength, and predatory skills, jaguars are considered one of the “big cats.” Tigers, leopards, cheetahs, and cougars are also part of this grouping. Take the big cat quiz to see how much you know about these fierce felines. Then, just for fun, see which wild cat you’re most like with our personality quiz.
Big Cat WeekNovember 23, 2015 – Nat Geo WILD presents a week dedicated to nature’s fiercest felines—big cats—creatures of magnificent strength, ferocity and beauty that are rapidly facing extinction. With visually stunning and powerful stories from around the world, get closer than ever before to lions, tigers, cheetahs, panthers and more as you share in their triumphs, defeats, and epic struggles to survive.
Mountain LionOctober 27, 2014 – The mountain lion goes by many names, including cougar, catamount, panther, red tiger, deer tiger, and puma. This cat can be found throughout much of South and North America. The mountain lion used to be found all over the United States, but now is primarily seen in the western U.S. An endangered subspecies of mountain lion also remains in Florida. These felines are comfortable in many different habitats and, aside from humans, have the widest geographic range of any land mammal in the Western Hemisphere. In North America, mountain lions eat mainly deer, but they also eat smaller animals, such as mice and rabbits. These cats have a poor sense of smell, but have excellent vision and hearing that help them hunt in the early morning and evening hours. Their powerful hind legs enable them to jump as far as 40 to 45 feet (12 to 13 meters). This carnivore stalks its prey until an opportunity arises to pounce. Mountain lions “cache” their prey, or hide it under leaves and soil, where they can come back and feed on it over the course of several days. Mountain lions don’t roar, but females have a loud scream, which is believed to attract males. Females have an average of two to four cubs per litter and give birth in a den. The cubs are born with spots, which usually disappear by the time they are roughly nine months old. Their eyes also change from blue to yellow by the time they reach 16 months old. By 18 months, the young cats leave their mom to go fend for themselves. Because of their size, strength, and predatory skills, mountain lions are considered one of the “big cats.” Tigers, leopards, cheetahs, and jaguars are also part of this grouping. Take the big cat quiz to see how much you know about these fierce felines. Then, just for fun, see which wild cat you’re most like with our personality quiz.
LionApril 02, 2014 – For all of their roaring, growling, and ferociousness, lions are family animals and truly social in their own communities. They usually live in groups of 15 or more animals called prides. Prides can be as small as 3 or as big as 40 animals. In a pride, lions hunt prey, raise cubs, and defend their territory together. In prides the females do most of the hunting and cub rearing. Usually all the lionesses in the pride are related—mothers, daughters, grandmothers, and sisters. Many of the females in the pride give birth at about the same time. A cub may nurse from other females as well as its mother. Each pride generally will have no more than two adult males. While the females usually live with the pride for life, the males often stay for only two to four years. After that they go off on their own or are evicted by other males who take over the pride. When a new male becomes part of the pride it is not unusual for him to kill all the cubs, ensuring that all future cubs will have his genes. The main job of males in the pride is defending the pride's territory. A male's loud roar, usually heard after sunset, can carry for as far as five miles (eight kilometers). The roar warns off intruders and helps round up stray members of the pride. Hunting generally is done in the dark by the lionesses. They often hunt in groups of two or three, using teamwork to stalk, surround, and kill their prey. Lionesses aren't the most successful of hunters, because they usually score only one kill out of several tries. After the kill the males usually eat first, lionesses next—and the cubs get what's left. Males and females fiercely defend against any outside lions that attempt to join their pride. Because of their size, strength, and predatory skills, lions are considered one of the “big cats.” Tigers, cheetahs, leopards, jaguars, and cougars are also part of this grouping. Take the big cat quiz to see how much you know about these fierce felines. Then, just for fun, see which wild cat you’re most like with our personality quiz.
TigerApril 02, 2014 – Easily recognized by its coat of reddish-orange with dark stripes, the tiger is the largest wild cat in the world. The big cat's tail is three feet long. On average the big cat weighs 450 pounds, about the same as eight ten-year-old kids. It stands three feet tall with teeth four inches long and claws as long as house keys. A female tiger gives birth to a litter of three or four cubs, who she will care for until they are a year-and-a-half old. These cubs quadruple in size during their first month! The powerful predator generally hunts alone, able to bring down prey such as deer and antelope. Tigers wait until dark to hunt. The tiger sprints to an unsuspecting animal, usually pulling it off its feet with its teeth and claws. If the prey animal is large, the tiger bites its throat to kill it; smaller prey is usually killed when the tiger breaks its neck. Tigers have been known to eat up to 60 pounds of meat in one night, but more often they consume about 12 pounds during a meal. It may take days for a tiger to finish eating its kill. The cat eats until it's full, and then covers the carcass with leaves and dirt. The tiger comes back to feed some more. Tigers live far apart from each other. A tiger knows if it is in another tiger’s territory based on the trees around him. Each tiger marks the trees in its area with urine and special scratches. Unlike most members of the cat family, tigers seem to enjoy water and swim well. Some tigers live where it gets very cold—in India and parts of southeast Asia. The whole species is endangered throughout its range. Tigers have been overhunted for their fur as well as for other body parts that many people use in traditional medicines. Tigers' habitat has also dwindled seriously as humans have developed land for uses such as farming and logging. However, in the Siberian region of Russia, there’s hope that these big cats are making a comeback. Because of their size, strength, and predatory skills, tigers are considered one of the “big cats.” Lions, cheetahs, jaguars, and cougars are also part of this grouping. Tiger stripes are special to each individual, and their tails help them to keep their balance. The big cats share all but 4.4% of their DNA with domestic cats. Take the big cat quiz to see how much you know about these fierce felines. Then, just for fun, see which wild cat you’re most like with our personality quiz.
ServalMay 11, 2020 – A serval sits patiently in a grassy field, swiveling its head back and forth like a watchful owl. The predator is scanning the savanna for a meal not with its eyes, but with its oversize ears. An unseen rodent stirs under the thick brush, and the wild cat tenses. It crouches on its legs and feet before launching itself up and over the tall grass. Guided only by sound, the serval lands directly on the once-invisible rat.