The cheetah is the fastest animal on land. A cheetah can run 46 miles per hour (76 kilometres per hour) – that’s pretty fast! Compared to the fastest humans who only runs about 18 miles per hour (30 kilometres per hour).
How do they do this? Their bodies are built for speed. Their small heads cut through the air quicker, their long legs let them take big steps, and their large hearts give them energy in short bursts. All of these physical traits help them become better hunters on the wide African plains. Cheetahs evolved from an ancient cat-like mammal, but they developed before lions and tigers. Their claws don’t retract like other cats, and they don’t have the ability to roar! Instead, they give hisses and chirps.