Where does the fastest land animal get its speed?
From its parents -of course in the womb. The fetus will practice running while still in the womb. Besides running, it punches, kicks, head butts its siblings and stretches all while it is suspends in the embryonic sac. These exercises get this cat ready for the life of a predator. Mother will train the new baby cheetahs for about four months after birth to hunt. Then she will leave then. Without this training time a cheetah will not survive in the wild.
Its’ spine and tail are continuous and has more bones than a human skeleton. The cheetah needs the extra control those tail bones afford to help it balance on quick turns as it chases prey .This extra long skeleton helps it balance the up and down motion while it runs.
Cheetahs have longer and better developed leg muscles than humans. It can sprint 3 times faster than the fastest human. The cheetah can go from 0 to 25 mph in two seconds and can run short distances chasing prey at 70 mph with a stride of 20 feet per stride.
When it runs after prey it closes its nostrils to increase its speed. The long tail helps stabilize it while it runs.
The cheetah is made for speed.
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Excerpts courtesy of National Geographic program In the Womb
Image Nature’s Crusaders files