jueves, 23 de enero de 2014

Why the cheetah is so fast

This is a short video from the Smithsonian Channel which explains why the cheetah reaches mind-boggling speeds.

Self-study activity:
Watch the video and complete the blanks in the transcript with the missing words.

The activity is suitable for Básico 2 and Intermediate 1 students.

The Cheetah is undisputed king of speed, holding nature’s land speed record for 10 million consecutive years. It reaches top speeds of (1) ... miles per hour.
But its acceleration is what’s truly impressive. It leaves most of the world’s fastest supercars in its dust; the Ferrari, Lamborghini or McLaren is no (2) ...   . Zero to sixty in three seconds or just three strides. Aerodynamics and a light weight frame enable this (3) ... acceleration. Weighing in at only 125 pounds, its muscles don’t have to carry much weight translating into acceleration instead. And the small head, flattened rib cage and (4) ... legs minimize air resistance.
Once it reaches top speed unique design (5) ... sustain this speed. The cheetah has an extremely flexible spine as well as pivoting hips and shoulder blades that are not attached to the collarbone. This allows the front and rear legs to (6) ... further apart when fully extended and move closer together when the feet come under its body increasing the cheetah’s stride length to an (7) ... 25 feet.
The cheetah moves so quickly that its feet spend more time in the (8) ... than on the ground, twice during each stride having all four feet off the ground at the same time.
In a high-speed (9) ... the long muscular tail works as a stabilizing rudder. Even its feet are modified for speed. Unlike other cats cheetah’s footpads are hard and flat like tyre treads and their short blunt claws do not retract completely like (10) ... and (11)...  . They are designed for grip like the cleats of a track shoe. These modifications provide the cheetah with (12) ... traction in fast sharp turns.

1 seventy-five 2 match 3 astonishing 4 slender 5 features 6 stretch 7 amazing 8 air 9 chase 10 lions 11 leopards 12 increased