I'm interested in the time it takes for a cheetah to reach maximum velocity as well as the acceleration over time that's typical of a cheetah prior to attaining this peak velocity.


According to a recent paper published on Nature, cheetahs can reach a top speed of 29ms-1 and very impressive accelerations, up to 100ms-2:

The mean top speed was 14.9 +- 3.4ms-1 and was usually only sustained for 1–2 s. The highest speed we recorded was a stride-averaged 25.9-1

Also impressive are the lateral accelerations:

Hunts involved considerable manoeuvring, with maximum lateral (centripetal) accelerations often exceeding 13ms-2

Here is the acceleration and speed chart:

enter image description here

The paper has several other charts: Locomotion dynamics of hunting in wildcheetahs

  • $\begingroup$ That's interesting. But, what about the cheetah's acceleration profile? $\endgroup$ – Aidan Rocke Jul 15 '16 at 14:01
  • $\begingroup$ The paper has a chart, but without precise values for the accelerations (given in "g", 9.8ms^-2). Check figure 2-f and figure 3-d. $\endgroup$ – user24284 Jul 15 '16 at 14:02
  • $\begingroup$ I have. The chart is too small for eyes to perceive and it's on the scale of days not seconds...They were interested in the cheetah's hunting patterns. $\endgroup$ – Aidan Rocke Jul 15 '16 at 14:04
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Days? the x-axis is time in seconds. I edited the answer with the chart, check it. $\endgroup$ – user24284 Jul 15 '16 at 14:06

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