The cheetah and the gazelle have something in common.
To survive, they each must run faster than the nearest gazelle.
The cheetah is the fastest land animal, and since it is a cat, it is carnivorous and must hunt and kill to survive. In the area of the world where the cheetah lives, there are many gazelles, so gazelles are a common prey of cheetahs. Even though gazelles are also very fast runners, they are not as fast as cheetahs, especially in a straight line, and yet, many times, they easily escape the cheetahs.
Gazelles escape by avoiding the cheetah. Cheetahs know they can run faster than any other animal, so that is all they do. They have not learned to anticipate the movements of their prey; they just charge after it at full speed, expecting to catch it. On the other hand, gazelles have learned that the cheetah’s primarily hunting asset is its speed, so they have learned to avoid the cheetah’s speed by making sharp, abrupt turns. The cheetah is very fast—for a short distance—then it tires very quickly. To avoid death by a cheetah, all a gazelle must do is avoid capture for a few tens of yards until the cheetah is exhausted. It is entirely possible for a gazelle to keep avoiding a cheetah until the cheetah is so exhausted that it is helpless; then the gazelle could attack and kill the cheetah.
- Next >>