The Magnificent Cheetah
“Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion? or fill the appetite of the young lions…”
Of 41 species of cats around the world, the cheetah is one of the most unusual. Unlike other great cats, the cheetah cannot roar, but it can purr like a house cat or emit high-pitched chirps. Beautiful in form, the cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal, reaching a speed of 40 miles per hour from a standstill within two seconds, and can momentarily reach speeds of 70 miles per hour. The cheetah’s claws are more like a dog’s than a cat’s because it is unable to retract them.
The Lord has truly given the cheetah a high-performance body. He has an unusually powerful heart, an oversized liver, extra large and strong arteries, and extra large nostrils for taking in great quantities of air. The cheetah also has hip and shoulder girdles that swivel on its spine. As it runs, the cheetah’s spine curves up and down as his legs bunch and then extend. When moving at high speed, the cheetah may only touch the ground once every 23 feet.
While most scientists believe that the cheetah evolved, the very oldest cheetah fossils show us an animal that is just about like the cheetahs we know today. This complete lack of evidence for evolution, plus the intelligent, specialized features of the cheetah, lead us to the conclusion that the cheetah is a special creation of God.
Dear Father, we thank You for the great beauty and variety You have placed in the creation. As Your Word says, Your power and wisdom are certainly evident around us. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Photo: Cheetah taken at the Maasai Mara National Reserve in Kenya. Courtesy of Jason Hui. Licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 Unported license.