CHEETAH VS. HORSE
|Compare the cheetah's run to that of a horse:
both lift all 4 feet off the ground during their run, i.e., when their feet
are crossed underneath the body. But the cheetah has a second period in
which its feet are off the ground. This second period occurs when the cheetah
stretches out to its fully extended position. The cheetah's flexible spine
curls like a whip producing a burst of acceleration. The movement of that
spine adds about 30 inches (75 centimeters) to the cheetah's total stride.
Although a cheetah's body is shorter than a horse they both have the same
stride length of about 22 feet (6.6 meters). Keeping that in mind,
remember that the cheetah completes more than 3 strides per second compared
to the horse's 2 strides per second while the strides are the same length.
The horse's spine remains relatively rigid and all the work of running is
done by the legs. Over an extended distance the horse can outrun the cheetah.
But nothing surpasses this cat in short sprints: it can accelerate from
0 to 45 miles per hour (0 to 72 kilometers per hour) in 2 seconds.
|See also: Prints,
Stride, Claws, Speed,
Can You Prove It?