# Number (estimation): Cheetah Spots

## The Problem

A famous wildlife expert called Andy was invited into a school to give a talk about cheetahs. The children were fascinated by the incredible cheetah facts that Andy shared with them. At the end of the talk, a girl called Sumaya asked Andy the following question:

“How many spots does an adult cheetah have?”

Andy thought that this was a brilliant question and one that he didn’t know the answer to.

Can you help Andy find an answer to this question by using your number skills to estimate how many spots an adult cheetah has?

Did you know?

A cheetah’s spots cover nearly its entire body. They help to camouflage the animal against the grasses they inhabit. Camouflage is not only essential for stalking prey but also for protecting cheetah cubs from predators.

## Visualising the Problem and Getting Started

You will be using the photograph below to estimate the number of spots that an adult cheetah has.

Questions to consider:

1) Can you see all of the cheetah’s spots in the photograph?

2) You’ll notice that a grid of squares has been placed over the cheetah. How might this help with your estimation?

3) Estimation involves giving an approximate (or rough) number rather than calculating an exact number. Can you see a square of fur that has roughly 20 spots? How about a square that contains roughly 10 spots?