With a flexible spine and feet that grip like BF Goodrich tyres, the cheetah is built for speed and amazing acceleration. Ferrari, eat your heart out. No wonder you can't outrun a cheetah. But what physical adaptations make it so fast?
Hunter says, 'A biologist with a fascination for the slightly morbid once calculated that a legless cheetah could reach a speed of 15 km/h just by the bunching and uncoiling action of the spine. Combining legs and spine, the effect in the cheetah is a stride that measures just under ten meters at top speed. For more than half of every stride, the cheetah is completely airborne.'
The result for a cheetah running at a speed of 93 km/h is an astonishing three and a half strides every second. Yup, every second.
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