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The cheetah: from 0 to 100 in three seconds

The cheetah: from 0 to 100 in three seconds


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The cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world and fascinates speed fans around the world: the supple big cat reaches a speed of over 100 kilometers per hour when hunting - and takes just three seconds to do so. Image: beckmarkwith - Fotolia.com

Cheetahs now live mainly on the sub-Saharan African continent. They love hot, low-shadow dry savannas, semi-deserts or light tree steppes, in which they can fully exploit their breathtaking speed. Read more about the fast-paced big cat below.

Hello Usain Bolt, it's me, the cheetah!

If cheetahs could watch TV, they would only smile tiredly at Usain Bolt's records at the Olympic Games. Because the numbers speak for themselves. While Usain Bolt's record over 100 meters is 9.58 seconds, the spotted big cat can cover this distance in an incredible 5.95 seconds. The cheetah has a streamlined body, with long legs and strong thighs. Since it is the only big cat that cannot completely retract its claws, it also has good traction, also thanks to its rough underside of the paws. The slim body has no fat reserves, a regular greyhound waist as well as very light bones and a small but highly efficient muscle mass - all this enables the cheetah to achieve this incredible speed.

Magical, curious and cute: cheetah babies

Cheetahs are short-distance sprinters

When looking at this statistic, the speed fans should be heartbroken: the cheetah accelerates from zero to 100 in just three seconds and reaches a top speed of 112 kilometers per hour. A small drop of bitterness: after 400 meters at this speed, the cheetah runs out of juice. The prey should be caught by then. So you are a short-distance sprinter, but can still maintain very high speeds (around 90 kilometers per hour) over several kilometers.

The perfect predator: sneak, sprint, kill

The cheetah is an almost perfect predator not only because of its speed. His ability to stalk silently and unobtrusively also makes him a feared hunter in his prey. A cheetah sneaks almost unnoticed - the spotted camouflage pattern helps it, especially in the high steppe grass - to approach the prey, avoiding any rapid movement that could frighten the victim and then suddenly explodes out of its hiding place to start the chase. Gazelles and other animals must then dodge very skilfully, for example with zigzag maneuvers, and hope that the cheetah as a short-distance sprinter will eventually get tired and the hunt will be stopped.


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