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Last Updated: Friday July 10 2009 05:55 GMT

Scientists study speedy cheetahs

Cheetah running

Scientists study speedy cheetahs

Cheetahs are the fastest running animals in the world, and now scientists are trying to find out what makes them so speedy.

A team of experts is using high-speed cameras and a special running track to look at the big cats as they sprint.

The animals can run quicker than 60 miles per hour and they can accelerate as fast as a Ferrari!

The study is looking at North African cheetahs and is taking place in ZSL Whipsnade Zoo.

To make the animals run, the team are using pieces of tasty chicken attached to a piece of string that is pulled along by a motor.

Four cameras film their every move and sensors on the track can measure how powerful their legs are.

They will then compare the results with other animals like greyhounds.

The team also hopes to study cheetahs in the wild, to look at how fast they can run and also try to measure a more accurate top speed.