Rear-wheel drive: Necessary for drifting and necessary for the savanna…
Scientists decode Cheetah’s sprint technique
Manorama Online | September 9, 2012
…Japanese researchers have mapped the distribution of muscle fibre across the whole of the cheetah's body for the first time and discovered that a sprinting cheetah is like “a rear-wheel-drive car”…Different types of muscle fibre are suited to different activities, Dr Naomi Wada, the study's co-author and Professor in System Physiology at Yamaguchi University in Japan, said.
…Type I fibres produced a small force output but were resistant to fatigue, making them best suited to maintaining posture and slow walking. Type IIa fibre performance was best suited to fast walking and trotting whereas Type IIx or “fast” fibres created a high force output but had low endurance and were key to fast running or galloping.
“The forelimb muscles in the cheetah included the most Type I muscle fibres of all three animals… while the muscle of hind limb muscles have many Type IIx fibres,” Wada said.
“The functional difference between forelimb and hindlimb is the most remarkable in the cheetah,” Wada was quoted …the power comes from the cheetah's hind legs, in the same way as a rear wheel-drive car, according to Wada.
The digits of the cheetah's hindlimbs contained no fast fibres, but the digits on the front legs contained many of them…more…
Know this fact might influence the design of the DARPA Cheetah, the wold’s fastest legged robot.