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Cheetah Trio

Cheetah Trio
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2010-02-07
Categories: Mammals
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4.5, 1/160 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): BEST OF: Cheetahs 1, Big Cats, Three of A Kind, My favourite naturescapes, Fauna of ETHIOPIAN (Africa) Region [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-12-15 18:27
Viewed: 4426
Points: 84
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Cheetah Trio / Acinonyx jubatus

With today's image I once again take a bit of a break from the series of birds from the Kruger National Park which I am currently still sharing.

I was really looking forward to capture a cheetah while on holiday in the Kruger National Park in October this year, but they've evaded us once more, just as the previous year. I was really hoping to find a cheetah more so than to find a leopard, and I was rather disappointed when we returned home without any photographs of these gorgeous cats.

Therefore, with zero cheetah sightings from Kruger, today's posting is an image that was taken in the iMfolozi Game Reserve in the beginning of this year. We were very fortunate to find these 3 cheetahs (a mom & two juvenile cubs) resting under a tree in the shade. It was close to midday and very hot and humid. The sun scorched down on the grass in the background which created a harsh contrast to the shady (darker) line of grass which is directly behind the animals. This also made it difficult to ensure my little Sony catches enough detail of the cheetahs and the foreground.

We sat watching this cheetah family for quite some time. They where really lazy which rather limited the photographic opportunities, because one can only capture so many images of cheetahs lying in the shade and that's it. Fortunately our luck turned slightly when suddenly they sat up for awhile and allowed us to take some more photos of them. You can read what happened next when a few warthogs appeared on the scene, blissfully grazing along until they were nearly right next to the cheetahs (Peeping Piggy) which I posted some time ago.

Since cheetahs have featured many times on the site and much has been said about this beautiful animal, I am not going to share any information regarding their specific biology, but I'm rather going to focus on some differences between a cheetah and a leopard.

To the casual observer, leopards and cheetahs may seem to be close cousins or even the same species of cat. However, there are many key differences between leopards and cheetahs including their habitat, diet, hunting style, morphology, and vocalisation.

Live in the level plains of Africa and south-western Asia. Historically, their habitat extended into India, but there have been no recent sightings. Current populations are geographically isolated.
Live primarily in woodlands and grasslands but can also thrive in Marginal Mountain and desert habitats. Their range extends through Africa to south eastern China with varying degrees of population density.

Carnivorous. Prefers grazing animals such as gazelles and impalas. It will also eat hares and some birds.
Carnivorous. Prefers small to medium-sized grazing animals such as gazelles or tufted deer. However, leopards will eat anything if necessary, including dung beetles and amphibians.

Hunting Style
They are built for speed. They hunt during the day and track their prey using their sense of sight. They can chase their prey at speeds exceeding 95km/h for short bursts. They latch onto the throat of their prey and strangle it. They sometimes live alone, but over half of observed cheetahs hunt in groups of two or three.
Stalk their prey and silently pounce. They also strangle their prey with a bite to the neck. Leopards prefer to drag their prey up into a tree and feed there. They are solitary, nocturnal hunters.

Are shaped so differently from other big cats that they are their own genus. They have a rangy greyhound-like body. Their heads are small in proportion for their bodies to streamline their running and their tails flatten at the end to act as a rudder. Cheetahs have a coat of solid spots and two black tear lines extending from their eyes to the corners of their mouth to aid in seeing long distances.
Have a bulkier body in a more traditional cat shape. Their legs are proportionally short and their paws are wide in order to climb trees. Their jaws are powerful and can crush the bones of their prey. Leopards has rosette shaped spots and white half-moons under their eyes to aid in night vision.

Are the only big cats who cannot roar. Instead they make a variety of sounds including purring, chirping and growling.
Produce a sound that is classified as a roar or growl/roar. It similar to that of a lion, but much less loud. Source

I hope you enjoyed looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

Luis52, fransswanepoel, joska, omereser, anel, Dis. Ac., Argus, jusninasirun, Adanac, rousettus, siggi, Noisette, marius-secan, matatur, marhowie, paolo49, Pitoncle, maaciejka, Mikolaj, brech, Alex99, pierrefonds, Carol_Lynn, CeltickRanger, maurydv, Tamrock has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2010-12-15 18:47]

Hola Anna.
Sencillamente hermosa esta foto Anna. No se puede pedir mas, pues es toda una exlente y fina imagen muy bien lograda justo en el momento ideal, en el sitio justo y con los ajuste adecuados en la camara.
felicidades Anna.

  • Great 
  • tuslaw Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2754 W: 282 N: 4931] (19883)
  • [2010-12-15 19:14]

Hello Anna,
I was just getting ready to head off to bed since it is 10:00PM here in Ohio and I have to get up for work tomorrow. I thought I would click on the the gallery one last time and your photo came up and really caught my attention.
What a spectacular shot of this Cheetah family all lined up together. They have such beautifully marked coats and the detail you captured is awesome. Perfectly composed shot I must say and shown with perfection.
Well I better hit the hay or I wont want to get up in the morning, so thanks for sharing this wonderful image with us.
Good Night from Ohio!

Jy maak my dag Anna.
My favourate animal by far and you captured them so well.Great getting their chestnut eyes so sharp.Nice pose and composition. The low angle makes it work well. TFS

Good day dear Anna Eksteen! I hope that you are away from Gauteng at the moment, it's raining since yesterday non stop!
Wonderful presentation of a lovely trio taken at the iMfolozi Game Reserve! What a pity when I went to Kruger Park with a hope to spot those magnificent cats, I did not manage to see them at all! Great point of view. The animals are well exposed, and we can see clearly the curiosity in their eyes. The colors, especially of the vegetation behind seems a bit too strong in my opinion, but in overall pleasantly exposed image, with good white balance indeed. Bravo Anna, I love that image.
George Veltchev

  • Great 
  • joska Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 806 W: 0 N: 4092] (22535)
  • [2010-12-15 22:31]

Very nice animals, very good photo, TFS!

Woww.. what a beaıtiful trio while resting under shadow MF Anna!
I like the low POV you used. Very sharp throughout, the DOF is perfect to get all sharp and have nice bokeh in the background. i also love their expressions you've caught!
TFS and have a nice day!


Good Morning Anna,

Çita ailen çok sevimligörünüyor. Arkadaki yeşil alanla çok hoş bir kompozisyon oluşturmuşlar.
Eline sağlık,

  • Great 
  • foozi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2791 W: 0 N: 6696] (25839)
  • [2010-12-16 2:05]

Hello Anna,
beautiful cheetahs in excellent colours under the shade of green canopy.
Really a lovely view with their casual looks. I like the natural smiles they gave.
The scenery is so charming which I think the effect of the green hues and spotty skin they possess plus the spotty sunshine between the leaves.
A very nice and pleasant effect.


  • Great 
  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2010-12-16 2:20]

Hello Anna,
A very pleasant picture of this Cheetah-trio, all three with vivid expression and well displayed, ideal for the photographer. Not so easy to make the shot with these shadow/light conditions. Excellent focus on all three cats. I looked at your "peeping Piggy" thinking about you :-), not having read the note before.
Have a nice day
Kind regards

  • Great 
  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-12-16 2:43]

Hello Anna,
A very nice sharp capture of this Cheetah trio. The saturated natural colours are excellent and they are well seen in the shade, even though the BG is rather busy. I like the alert expression of the mother while the two youngsyers on either side of her appear to be looking at something else.
Thanks and kind regards,

Hello Anna.
It is rare on TN of three wonderful looking cheetah under the shade against the lush green background. They are pretty common out in the field of brown vegetation.
Nicely framed in relaxing mood.
Thanks for sharing and kind regards - Jusni

p/s: Thanks for helping out the ID of my spider.

hello Anna
super TRIO with great details and super sharpness
the colours are lovely and nice light
great shot
greeting lou

Hi Anna
Impressive photo with wonderful colours and great sharpness.
Regards, Christodoulos.

Hi Anna,
A magnificent photo of the three cheetahs resting in the shade, with beautiful colours and very good composition.
Best regards,

Ciao Anna, great capture of lovely trio in nice pose, splendid bright colors and excellent sharpness, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

Hola Anna

Precioso trio de Guepardos, una composición excelente y una imagen muy bella. Buen POV.

Un saludo de Antonio

  • Great 
  • Adanac Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1273 W: 1 N: 6188] (21378)
  • [2010-12-16 11:36]

Hello Anna,
These gorgeous cats are surely built for speed, with that long lean body. Like most cats, their eyes are piercing to look at. You have captured their beauty superbly here Anna, thank you.

hello Anna
Today I see another perfect capture from Kruger National Park and belongs to famous cheetah from marvellous nature of Africa. this pretty trio gave to you a special pose. excellent timing, excellent shot. focus, exposure/light using, POV/DOF and eyes contact wonderful. I like very much this great work, really. thanks for showing us this beauty. well done.
friendly regards

  • Great 
  • fiyo Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1053 W: 5 N: 3475] (15161)
  • [2010-12-16 13:12]

Merhaba Anna,
O kadar sempatikler ki, sevmek geldi içimden :)
Tebrik ederim, çok güzel fotoğraf.
Selam ve sevgiler..

  • Great 
  • siggi Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3097 W: 109 N: 12399] (52850)
  • [2010-12-16 13:16]

Hello Anna.
Bet its not fast enough to escape these beauties.Very well composed picture.Very good focus and depth of field. The moment is absolutely great.Best regards Siggi

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-12-16 15:27]

Hi Anna,fantastic trio and top quality pic.Impossible to make better in this difficult lgiht,fantastic sharpness and colors,this is a very professional work.Thanks for share,have a nice day,Luciano.

Hello Anna
superb break in your birds serie, this three Cheetahs are well focused with great details on her face, like the way that this trio are laying close together, and also the green vegetation in the BG
Have a good night

hello Anna, such a beautiful scene, representative of African, very good photo from you!
TFS Nasos

Hello Anna,
What a fantastic capture. Wonderful cats with superb colours and beautiful eyes. Excellent capture very well exposed. The image is just great.

Hi Anna

Brilliant shot of this trio. I managed to see 3 on my last day in Kruger, but not close enough to get a good shot. Still my boyhood dream from 40 years ago was fulfilled, to see a cheetah in the wild. Great composition and sharpness, you are privillaged to have so many beautiful species in your national parks and reserves.

have a great weekend, sorry out of smiles

In my haste I somehow missed this fine family portrait Anna, very crisp image, and the shadowy illumination was just right for demonstrating the camouflage capabilities of those beautiful cats in their element. Thanks for sharing this fine naturescape with us my friend.

Cool shot of the three all facing forward Anna..
Looks like the cheetah center is straddling the one right. Very good details, a great job on that exposure shooting into shade with the bright BG too.
Well done!
~Merry Christmas~

Hello Anna
another great picture of three cheetah, sharp details and light fantastic. A nice image. Tanks for sharing. Greetings, Paolo

Hi Anna,super shot with great details and very good light
the colours are beautiful of these trio.TFS

Wow, I love this picture. Even though the subjects are in the shade, the detail is stunning, sharpness perfect and the pose really nice. I always find cheetah very photogenic and they always seem to pose for photographers.
Well done!

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-12-18 4:11]

Hello Anna,
What a brilliant capture of these wonderful animals, all three beautifully in focus! Excellent timing in beautiful light. Great sharpness and lovely colours too!
Many thanks and kind regards, Ulla

Bonjour Anna,
Tu as vraiment eu beaucoup de chance de pouvoir photographier cette famille ; c'est très très beau !!!
Excellente restitution des sujets dans une belle attitude sous un bon angle de prise de vue. La maitrise de la lumière et l'excellente profondeur de champ permettent d'apprécier la finesse des détails et la délicatesse des couleurs.
Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.

Hi Anna,
what a nice family! It looks like a family portrait! I like this sharpness, natural colours, and composition.
Thanks a lot for sharing,

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-12-19 1:45]

Hello Anna,
I was busy for a couple of days and didn't have time for TN. Looking back this was one of the most impressive photos I've missed. Fantastic trio in very beautiful colours and great sharpness. Taken from a pleasing frontal POV. Beautiful green BG too. Excellent choice of composition.

Hello Anna!
Amazing pets! Are they Yours? Be carefull!
Three musqueteers. Smooth guys. Fine scene. Very fine scenery.
Superb shot. Sophisticated effect.
Well done!

Hi Anna!!! An interesting and clear subject, nice composition, beautiful animals!!! Erodotos

  • Great 
  • brech Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 53 W: 60 N: 95] (267)
  • [2010-12-28 12:11]


Love this image, which being in the shade could have posed a difficult shot, but you captured it wonderfully!


  • Great 
  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2010-12-29 7:58]

Hi Anne.
I wrote once that these animals are my favorite since childhood. I can watch them again and again. And your photo brings me an ocean of positive emotions. You have pictured them brilliantly with all details at a very impressive natural scenery. Great "family" picture for their children and grandchildren. Bravo. Superb job.

Hi Anna,

The subject is well framed. the point of view is showing the details and colors of the Cheetahs. It is clear and sharp. There is a good contrast between the colors of the picture. All the best for 2011.


Hello Anna,
Looking through your gallery the thumbnail did not impress me. Could see they were cheetah, though, and decided to open it ..... and what a wonderful surprise!!!! Sharp images and soft colours at the same time. And talk about composition! The disposition of the animals, layering and gradation...fabulous in a word. It seems as if they are illuminated by the light filtering through the foliage of the upper background. Magnificent!!!

hello Anna

excellent and very beautiful close-up photo
of this Cheetah trio, with fine frontal POV,
superb focus great sharpness and details,
great expression on their glances, TFS


wonderful capture, very good definition and lovely subject family,

congratulations !

Hallo Anna,
what a fantastic capture of these marvellous animals, superb sharpness, a perfect exposure with a great balance between shades and lights, excellent from all aspect
Best regards

hej anna!
soooo beautiful!
very nice to see!

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