|Although this cheetah looks
pretty fierce its teeth are small compared to those of other big cats. The
teeth are small because everything about the cheetah is designed to enhance
its running speed. To run really fast requires lots of oxygen and to breathe
in lots of oxygen the cheetah needs very large nasal passages. But large
nasal passages leave no space for the long roots required to anchor
big teeth. Without large teeth the cheetah is limited in its fighting abilities.
It is easily overwhelmed by larger, stronger cats like lions. Because of
its short teeth a cheetah must kill its prey by suffocation - the jaw structure
enables a vise-like grip.
|See also: Food,
King Cheetah, Appearance,
(external link), Cheetah
Skull Compared (external link)