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Wednesday, 12 June 2013
Usain Bolt beaten by cheetah as study shows speedy big cats' muscles are four times as powerful
A CHEETAH'S leg muscles generate four times more acceleration power than the fast-moving limbs of Usain Bolt, scientists have shown.
The finding emerged from the first detailed study of the way the cats hunt in the wild, using satellite tracking technology.
One of the five animals observed clocked up a top speed of 25 metres (27 yards) per second, or 58 mph.
It was just a little slower than the land mammal record of 61mph set by a cheetah called Sarah at Cincinnati Zoo in the US last year.
Scientists studied 397 runs by three female and two male adult cheetahs in northern Botswana, Africa.
The animals were fitted with GPS and motion-sensing collars that not only tracked their position but recorded changes in direction and acceleration.
Typically the cheetahs began a hunting run with a burst of acceleration to high speed.
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