a human could win a running race against a cheetah, if this was a long distance race? why might this be, can you think of any adaptations humans have that will allow for this?


This question is about what the student may know and applying this knowledge in a different situation. At first it seems ridiculous, a cheetah is the fastest animal on the planet? which is more or less true, but a cheetah can only sprint for about a mile and a half before it overheats. That is one way of reasoning, that the cheetah can't run long distance, the other - humans are built for long distance. from this, either on their own or supported, a student could point out certain adaptations humans have that make them good for running? -tall thin bodies + minimal hair coverage + sweat glands (good heat exchange) - narrow pelvis, thin waist, broad shoulders (counteract roatation) -hip, knee and ankle joints with large surface area for shock absorption. - large inner ear canals (for balance) -Energy transference, the legs are built sort of like rubber bands, and the achilles tendon allows the muscle that has just moved its leg and struck the floor, instead of losing that energy to an outside system, it stores it as kinetic energy, so it tenses up and then releases again, springing us into our next step. we use stored kinetic energy instead of stored chemical energy which allows us to go further with less work.

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Oscar H.

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Oscar H. is an online Medical School Preparation tutor with MyTutor studying at Birmingham University