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Dec 04 2012

The run of the cheetah

Watch this video of a cheetah running at full speed, taken with a high-speed camera. Note particularly how the head is held so rigidly fixed while the rest of the body goes up and down, no doubt as a result of the need to focus so intently on its prey.

I find it abominable that some people will actually kill these magnificent animals just for sport.

Cheetahs on the Edge–Director’s Cut from Gregory Wilson on Vimeo.

This second video describes how the filming was done. What surprised me was that the cheetahs were allowed to roam freely among the humans.

10 comments

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  1. 1
    Anthony K

    I’m going to show this to my cat.

    “See? That’s what running looks like. Now you try.”

    He’ll reply with a yawn and go back to snoozing.

  2. 2
    Nepenthe

    Double suspension transverse gallop. I can’t find any other animals that move this way. Brilliant.

  3. 3
    machintelligence

    Yep. All four feet off the ground at the same time twice in each stride. Wow!

  4. 4
    Tsu Dho Nimh

    Greyhounds and other “sight hounds” in a full run also do this.

  5. 5
    machintelligence

    I think the difference between cats and dogs is that cats are “even gaited” meaning both left paws hit the ground, then both right paws. Dogs are “odd gaited” so diagonal paws are on the ground at the same time. This seems to carry over to the gallop as well. Camels and elephants are also even gaited.

  6. 6
    elipson

    What surprised me was that the cheetahs were allowed to roam freely among the humans.

    Is a cheetah much of a threat against a full grown human?

  7. 7
    sosw

    Is a cheetah much of a threat against a full grown human?

    Probably not a threat at all; think of it as a bigger ocelot or lynx rather than a smaller tiger or lion.

    A concern might be if it decided to run away…but I expect the particular individual is well-known enough to its handlers that they trusted it not to.

  8. 8
  9. 9
    Mano Singham

    It strikes me as an extremely powerful animal that has sharp claws and teeth and is an animal evolved to prey on game. I wouldn’t keep it as a pet!

  10. 10
    Kilian Hekhuis

    A cheetah, as the only cat, does not have retractable claws, and they are therefore rather blunt (the claws, not the cheetah). In that respect they are comparable to wolf claws. It’s canines are respectable, but I bet not that more deadly than the canines of a well-sized dog.

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