The cheetah is the world’s fastest land animal

Did you know the cheetah, which at just under 2 metres long, is the world’s fastest land animal capable of reaching speeds of over 100km and an hour in 3 seconds, but for how long?

You may listen to this programme NOW on Demand on the BBC Discovery Page which is available until Tuesday the 29th of November. It will also be broadcast on Sunday the 27th of November in Phuket at 8:30 AM on 91.5 FM and 102.5 FM and Online via the Internet radio portals.

Zoologist Ben Garrod and veterinary surgeon Jess French armed with their dissection tools, return with a new series taking on natural history from the inside out as they delve deep into some amazing internal anatomy to unravel the secrets to the survival of some of nature’s iconic animals.

The Cheetah and different wild animals

It’s a rare opportunity to examine some amazing and very different wild animals – on land, in the air and deep in the oceans – unravelling their intricate internal complexity.

Whilst we can gain a lot by observing their behaviour from the outside, to truly understand these animals, we need to look at what’s on the inside, too.

What makes the ultimate predator? What are the keys to successful survival in an ever-changing environment?

Evolutionary biologist Professor Ben Garrod from the University of East Anglia, together with a friend and expert veterinary surgeon Dr Jess French open up and investigate what makes each of these animals unique, in terms of their extraordinary anatomy, behaviour and their evolutionary history.

Along the way, they reveal some unique adaptations which give each species a leg (or claw) up in surviving in the big wild world.

The cat family – the cheetah

The series begins with one of the rarities of the cat family – the cheetah, which at just under 2 metres long, is the world’s fastest land animal capable of reaching speeds of up to 70mph in 3 seconds.

As Ben and Jess reveal, the body’s rear muscles, large heart and nostrils enable it to achieve record-breaking accelerations.

But over long distances, it risks total exhaustion and predation from larger carnivores and the risk of losing its valuable prey.

We hear during the course of this intricate dissection, how it treads a fine line between speed and stamina in the quest for survival.

Jess French is a British television personality, veterinarian and author. She is the presenter of a television programme called Minibeast Adventure with Jess which has aired on CBeebies. French is also a best-selling author, particularly of conservation books for children and a regular contributor to science and literary festivals such as Hay FestivalEdinburgh festival and Norwich Science Festival and printed press such as The Guardian, and BBC Wildlife.

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