Thursday, 11 February 2016

The Cheetah's Sense Of Smell

A Cheetah's sense of smell is key for communication. Masai Mara Kenya

Combined with the other two senses that a cheetah relies on for its daily savanna living, this cats sensitive nose, is equally as important as sight and hearing. A cheetah's sense of smell is also crucial when it comes to hunting, as it is now believed that this big cat, may possibly be able to identify and follow herds of its favorite prey by smelling them from over 5 km away.

When it comes to finding out about the other cheetahs in the surrounding area, their acute sense of smell acts as a key communication tool. A cheetah can easily find out about the others in an area by smelling the feces, urine and scuffing from the scent glands that have been left behind. Cheetah's whether they are transient or resident to an area, all seem to leave their scented communication on the same olfactory stations such as trees, grass patches, stones and termite mounds. These scent stations seemingly act like a post office for cheetahs in the savanna, as all information needed can conveniently be collected from one particular spot. These odors that have been left behind by others, helps another cheetah in determining the identity, distance, reproductive cycle, health and territorial intentions of the cat that left the message behind.

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