FEB 11, 2020 4:42 PM PST

How the World's Fastest Cat Compares to the World's Fastest Dog

WRITTEN BY: Anthony Bouchard

Cheetahs are the world’s fastest land animal; their powerful hind legs give them incredible launching power and their stretchy spines provide a massive advantage in that they can cover more land between footsteps. But given what we know about cheetahs, just how do these zippy cats compare to the greyhound, also known as the world’s fastest dog?

With a top speed of 73 miles per hour, it can be inferred right off the bat that the cheetah is inherently faster. But with a sprinting speed in excess of 43 miles per hour, perhaps the more important question here is how the running technique of the world’s fastest dog differs from that of the world’s fastest cat.

In this video, which puts slow-motion footage of the cheetah against the greyhound, we can clearly see some key differences in how the animals run. Cheetahs launch themselves and gradually build speed with the help of their springy spines, but greyhounds have more of a near-instantaneous top speed with very little speed buildup over time.

The footage depicts the greyhound launching dirt from the ground on takeoff, and as it moves, its legs lift from the ground similarly to that of the cheetah. One difference, however, is in how the greyhound’s feet touch the ground, apparently in a circular motion. First, the left front foot, second, the right front foot, third, the right back foot, and last, the left back foot – rinse and repeat.

Notably, the greyhound achieves a massive gap between each footstep, much like the cheetah, but the spine doesn’t appear to have nearly as much give as the large cat’s does, and this could be another key difference that sets the animals apart in speed.

Related: Learn what makes cheetahs such adept predators

About the Author
  • Fascinated by scientific discoveries and media, Anthony found his way here at LabRoots, where he would be able to dabble in the two. Anthony is a technology junkie that has vast experience in computer systems and automobile mechanics, as opposite as those sound.
You May Also Like
NOV 24, 2019
Cell & Molecular Biology
NOV 24, 2019
How Nature Creates a Multitude of Leaf Shapes
Different plants exhibit leaves with very diverse shapes, and now scientists know how nature does it....
DEC 30, 2019
Genetics & Genomics
DEC 30, 2019
Chinese Scientists Implant Genes for Human Intelligence in Monkeys
Scientists from China and the US have implanted a human gene linked to intelligence in the genomes of macaque monkeys. The first experiment of its kind, th...
JAN 19, 2020
Earth & The Environment
JAN 19, 2020
Why aren't we meeting our forest restoration goals?
A new paper published recently in Conservation Letters hopes to encourage more support for countries aiming to meet their ambitious forest restoration goal...
JAN 26, 2020
Plants & Animals
JAN 26, 2020
The Life of an Arctic Squirrel
There is no overstating the fact that the Arctic Tundra is a cold and unforgiving place. There are few plants or animals that can survive in this extremely...
JAN 31, 2020
Health & Medicine
JAN 31, 2020
Medicinal Marijuana May Not Aid Sleep Problems Long Term
A new study published in BMJ Supportive & Palliative Care suggests that medical marijuana may not aid sleep problems resulting from chronic p...
FEB 13, 2020
Earth & The Environment
FEB 13, 2020
Contamination from Industrial Revolution Discovered in Himalayan Glacier
Scientific studies are revealing just how humans have impacted the environment over the past few centuries. Recently, scientists from Ohio State University...
Loading Comments...