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Print Cheetahs Reading Comprehension
||edHelper's suggested reading level:
||grades 4 to 7
||Flesch-Kincaid grade level:
||non-retractable, short-distance, launching, long-distance, mating, cheetahs, marathon, gazelle, short, easily, race, outrun, spiked, attack, defend, cheetah
1 In a short race for animals, who do you think would win? The cheetah would certainly win the gold medal! Cheetahs have a top speed of 70 miles per hour. They deserve to be crowned "the world's fastest short-distance runners." If we hold a long-distance marathon, however, we'd have a different winner. Gazelles or horses can outrun cheetahs easily. Why is that? Well, while a cheetah is running, its body temperature rises quickly. About twenty seconds after the race starts, cheetahs become too overheated and must stop.
2 Since cheetahs cannot run for long, they must get very close to their prey before launching a surprise attack. If a cheetah is chasing after a gazelle, the gazelle is likely to escape if it can outrun the cheetah for more than 20 seconds. Cheetahs prey on gazelles, impalas, and antelopes. As they stalk their prey, they look for the weak ones who cannot outrun them. Once they bring down their victim, they must catch their breath first. Then, they have to eat really fast before other predators, such as hyenas and lions, come and steal their food.
3 Cheetahs belong to the family of cats. What makes cheetahs so different from their other family members are their flexible spines and non-retractable claws. In fact, these two special features are the secrets behind their high speed. When cheetahs run, they stretch out and close up their spines like a spring. This gives more power to their muscles. Their claws give them a firm grip on the ground. The claws on their feet are like wearing spiked running shoes.
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