Is cheetah’s natural speed ‘quickest’?

By Anis Shakur
Wednesday – August 12, 2020
NEW YORK (United States): The familiar hunting leopard or cheetah had been hitherto very aptly considered and depicted as the fastest land animal. It thrills and mesmerises millions. However, today he faces challenges.

According to research in the realm of speed, scientists manned with extremely sophisticated gadgets have placed the ‘prong horn,’ antelope of the western United States as the nature’s fastest land animal.

Its speed is at par with that of cheetah that is, sixty M.P.H. for two miles and at an average speed of thirty M.P.H. for forty-five minutes.

Moreover, one prong horn antelope was chased for nearly ten minutes, during which the latter, using all the guile and agility his head and heart could muster, acquired an incredible seventy-five M.P.H.

In comparison to this, a cheetah would have apparently collapsed miserably in half of this time!

Black buck: a black buck is a favourable contender to claim the trophy for the world’s second fastest land animal with a speed of sixty-five M.P.H. The female of this chivalrous buck is of light camel colour. Black buck’s own complexion varies from dark-brown to black with a white underpart.

It resides in open grassland or low, bushy plains. The body colour markings in most of the affiliated deer assist in camouflage. Reverse is the case with it in that it exposes the deer even more vulnerable to the foe.

No sooner that the deer finds itself in jeopardy, it dashes on, plunges for a proper panoramic view and thereby draws the assailant to him. True to the antelope style, after a few yards race, it halts, turns back and stares at his pursuer. If the strategy so demands, it can stand against the skyline.

Whether the enemy is a man or other predator, his chances of being a prey are thus multiplied several folds. At such a crucial juncture, every move made by him seems to be very deliberate.

On the other hand, the poor, perplexed and feline wife in the meantime have all the time in the world to elude for safety. 

Waterbuck: A handsome herd of perhaps a dozen amiable waterbuck, hand in hand, lope leisurely through the  brushes and dense undergrowth. Waterbucks are awful to eat, obviously because they are terribly tough and carry with them an insect repellent in their hides, a greasy, effluvium ointment that comes off in hands.

But as for the waterbuck’s nimbleness, this gentleman is really relegated at the pinnacle of promptitude at least in Africa. An adult male has a thick, tufted neck, a noble face, and a compact, heavily furred body.

The waterbuck scales nearly seven hundred pounds, strikingly marked in black, white and greyish fawn. His horns are slim parentheses that are heavily gnarled at the base and finish off in four inches of clean, ivory point.

Fascinating fawn: The doe moves away to browse and leave behind her near and dear, roly-poly kids without a surveillance security of a baby-sitter.

Although the fawn in an initiative phase of his life is almost odourless, which is an effective shield against the perilous predators that mostly possess a keen sense of smell.

The mother throws her child a few yards away in a clamp of grass by an energetic jerk of her nose only as an additional caution to mislead the diabolic child-lifter who may grasp the baby by the aroma left by the mother while nursing it.

The baby on being left all alone on its own does not speak out its plight and affliction. Far from it, it reclines there cozily, lest a slightest movement may allure its fiendish foe.

Even if one approaches, the baby just freezes instinctively, blending with the dappled and drab encompassment, barely breathing.

The mating initiates in November and a foe normally gives birth to her young in May in brush on forest edge or in deep swap. There are from one to three offspring.

The male fawns average seven pounds. They arrive in full red coat with over two hundred white spots that split up body contour and mingle the fawn into its background.

The child, among other things must also learn to distinguish at once her mother from other females by her voice and smell. Although able to walk at birth, imagine that within three weeks it outwits dogs and men.

The fawn stays close to the ground, dropping at the slightest sound. This impulse accompanied by a prodigious camouflage and the newborn’s utter lack of scent, showers with perfect protection.

Observers have noticed dogs jump inches above a bedded baby deer without ever smelling or glimpsing it. One of the wildlife’s most dedicated mothers, she nurtures her young for a couple of minutes, at three-hour intermissions.

Her opulent milk produces a spectacular growth of the toddling toddlers, who double their weight in merely a fortnight, quadruple it in a month.

At three weeks they browse lightly, to couple it with a wee-bit from the mama’s morsel. In a month they willingly eat and digest palatable scorns and beechnuts.

So, in the animal kingdom too, there is an urge to compete, in the wilderness, on land, water, and in the limitless sky. To attempt, gain and enhance the speed and endurance to become nature’s speed challengers!

Next in TDR’s Classics, “Neelofar”

Info: Prominent writer, Anis Shakur, is an essential employee in the division of animal resources, SUNY Downstate, and the animal research, VA Brooklyn.