C is for Cheetah
Cheetahs are the fastest land animal, reaching speeds of up to 70 mph.
They have extra large lungs and passages to allow the consumption of oxygen needed for such huge bursts of speed – massive muscles in their back legs to power them, and the muscles themselves use glycogen which breaks down more quickly than glucose. However they can only keep this speed up for a very short time before lactic acid, a by-product of the glycogen, brings them to a halt with cramp.
So they need to catch their prey very quickly indeed.
Of the two species of cheetah, the African is threatened and the Asiatic critically endangered.
All material © Liz Brownlee
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