“Built for speed – that is the design of a cheetah. Cheetahs are the fastest land animals. They can go from 0 to 60 m.p.h. in 3 seconds! To be able to run that fast requires special design features. A heavy lion’s body (550 pounds on a four-foot frame) would not work well on the cheetah’s three-foot frame, so cheetahs weigh in at a lighter weight 80-140 pounds. Check out these other design features:
- The main design change needed to support its speed is its spine – it is highly flexible, curving in and out with each stride. In fact, the vertebrae can even spread apart!
- The hind legs have a high percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibers allowing for explosive energy.
- The cheetah has an extra-large heart and lungs; and oxygen comes in through the extra-wide nostrils, allowing the muscles to be well oxygenated.
- It’s one thing to be speeding along, it’s another to be able to see without blurriness. Cheetahs have extra neurons in the eyes to help their focus remain sharp. To reduce glare, cheetahs have those black tear lines under the eyes, now copied by football player’s black face paint lines.
- But what about not crashing at these speeds? It’s in the tail! The long tail swings back and forth working like a boat rudder stabilizing and counterbalancing. The tail allows for sudden sharp turns at high speeds.
- The cheetah’s semi-retractable claws act like cleats – gripping the ground.
Cheetahs are uniquely built for speed; this did not come about by accident and chance over eons of time. Just as when we see a Ferrari, we know there must be a race car designer; the fast-moving cheetah had a Designer and He is God.”
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Picture from: https://pixabay.com/photos/cheetah-africa-namibia-cat-run-2859581/ accessed 1/6/23.