Sunday, 24 June 2012

The Secret to Cheetahs' Speedy Stride Found


Cheetahs and greyhounds have very similar running styles, but somehow the big cats leave their doggy rivals in the dust.  Their secret: Cheetahs "switch gears" while running, striding more frequently at higher speeds, new research finds.

Greyhounds, on the other hand, seem to take the same number of strides per second at every speed.

Cheetahs have been recorded running at up to 65 mph (105 kilometers per hour) — much faster than a greyhound, which, as the fastest canid (doglike animal), is known to reach 43 mph (68 kph).

"Cheetahs and greyhounds are known to use a rotary gallop, and physically they are remarkably similar, yet there is this bewitching difference in maximum speed of almost a factor of 2," study researcher Alan Wilson, from the Royal Veterinary College in the United Kingdom, said in a statement.

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