A cheetah has a short muzzle, small canines, and other features to help reduce the overall weight of its head. All this results in a skull that weighs around 500 grams. That’s just over a pound.
Now, cheetahs need this light skull to make space for a large nasal cavity. Because cheetahs need LOTS of oxygen. To help meet this need, they have large nostrils that allow for quick and large intakes of air while the cheetah’s large chest holds its lungs and heart, which work together to help circulate the oxygen throughout its body. And that’s crucial, since a cheetah can take anywhere between 60 to 150 breaths per minute.
This is a drastic increase, since at rest, a cheetah takes in about 9 breaths per minute. That means that when these cats really get going, their breathing rate goes up to SIXTEEN TIMES faster. What’s even more fascinating is that while running, you’ll notice that a cheetah’s head doesn’t move.
It stays incredible still.
#cheetahs #speed #seeker #tusktotails #anatomy
"The cheetah is the world’s fastest land mammal. With acceleration that would leave most automobiles in the dust, a cheetah can go from 0 to 60 miles an hour in only three seconds."
Functional anatomy of the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) forelimb
"Despite the cheetah being the fastest living land mammal, we know remarkably little about how it attains such high top speeds (29 m s−1)."
What Give Cheetahs The Edge In a Race With Greyhounds
"If you could put a wild cheetah up against a greyhound in a race, the cheetah would win, no problem."
Tusks, trunks, claws, tails. Animals have evolved in ways to adapt to their environment by developing some truly unusual physical traits. Why did elephants develop a trunk, and how does it even work? What are insect wings made of? How are tails used throughout the animal kingdom? Our host Dr. Evan Antin explores the strange world of animal physiology.
Seeker empowers the curious to understand the science shaping our world. We tell award-winning stories about the natural forces and groundbreaking innovations that impact our lives, our planet, and our universe.
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