The Physics Factbook™
Edited by Glenn Elert -- Written by his students
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|"Cheetah." Illustrated Encyclopedia of Animals. New York: Grisewood & Dempsey, 1992.||"Someone reportedly timed a cheetah running at 70 mph (114 km/hr) over a distance of 700 yards (640 meters) But many people accept a likelier top speed of about 60 mph (97 km/hr)."||31 m/s
|"Cheetah." World Almanac and Book of Facts. New Jersey: Primedia, 1998.||"Cheetah, 70 mph"||31 m/s|
|Macmillan, Dianne M. Cheetahs. Minneapolis, MN: Carolhoda, 1997.||"From a standing start the Cheetah can reach 45 mph (20 m/s) in 2 seconds."||20 m/s|
|"Cheetah." Macmillan Illustrated Animal Encyclopedia. New York: Macmillan, 1994.||"Superbly adapted for speed, the Cheetah is the fastest of the big cats, able to retain speeds of 112 km/hr (69 and ½ mph)."||31.1 m/s|
|Cheetah Conservation in Southern Africa. Trade Environment Database (TED). American University, Washington, DC.||"The cheetah is capable of speed
up to 72 mph (114 km/h) and can maintain this speed over an average prey chase of 3.5 miles."
The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is one of the fastest mammals found in the animal kingdom today. I have searched through many books and other references to find that the maximum speed of a cheetah is documented with the speed of about 30 m/s (70 mph).
The book of cheetahs I found said that every part of a cheetah's body is made for speed. Its body is slender, light and its long tail helps it to stay balanced. The bones of a cheetah are designed to take punishment. The claws of the Cheetah do not retract, they grip the ground and help cheetah push off the same way a track shoe with cleats help a runner start a race.
From standing start, a cheetah can accelerate from zero to 20 m/s in two seconds, at a rate of 10 m/s2. Most race cars cannot accelerate that fast.
Alex Schuster -- 1999
|Doherty, James G. Natural History. March 1974. as cited in Speed of Animals. InfoPlease Kid's Almanac.||"Cheetah 70.00 mph" [I seriously doubt the precision implied by this number.]||31.29 m/s|
Editor's Supplement -- 1999
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