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We knew cheetahs were fast - the fastest-moving land animals on Earth, in fact, with top speeds that would bring a cop winging out of the margin of many highways with a blaring siren and a speeding ticket at ready. But a recent study shows that speed isn't everything. Those top speeds, which reach 70-75 miles per hour, are not nearly as useful as being able to maneuver.
For 18 months, scientists monitored the movements of five cheetahs. They were surprised at how slowly the big cats moved during a hunt. The success of the hunt was affected far more by the cheetah's ability to make sharp turns and change course during the chase, showing just how versatile these beautiful speedsters are.