Why Some Animals Are Faster Than Others

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Story Description
Animals with long limbs and lots of muscle should be faster than other animals. In reality, even though a giraffe has much longer legs than a cheetah, it runs only about half as fast. This is because there are other factors involved in acceleration and speed of animals, such as how much energy they have to burn. Listen to learn about how new research on animal speeds can give scientists clues about the lives of prehistoric animals.

Listening Comprehension Questions

  • Why don’t big animals accelerate as quickly as midsize animals?
  • What is an animal’s theoretically possible maximum speed? 
  • Why is fuel important in speed? 
  • What are the factors that affect the speed of animals?

Classroom Discussion Themes

  • What surprised you about the speed of animals in this story? 
  • How can this research be used to learn more about prehistoric animals?

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