Buck Cries for Help from Cheetah
Cheetahs are able to go from zero to 60 miles per hour (97 kph) in just three seconds. When racing at full speed, they cover about 21 feet (6 to 7 meters) with each stride. Their feet only touch the ground about twice during each stride, according to the Cheetah Conservation Fund.
After a chase, the cheetah needs about 30 minutes to catch its breath before eating. Cheetahs tend to limit chases to distances of less than 1,000 feet, since running fast creates more body heat than can be released through evaporative cooling, i.e. panting and sweating through their paws.
Cheetahs’ incredible speed is a product of their body mechanics. They have a flexible spine that allows them to stretch and cover so much ground on each stride. Their long legs help them race fast and move over great distances. The cheetah also has a muscular, flat tail that functions almost like a boat’s rudder, helping them stay balanced and changed direction.