See spot run

This spectacular footage was uploaded to Vimeo in November 2012, but today is the first time I’ve seen it. It’s mesmerizing.

Credits come at the end and, appropriately, begin with the names of the cheetahs (five of them) in the film. The remaining credits run with scenes of how the filming was done, including one shot of a cheetah sprinting at normal speed. The contrast after all the slo mo is stunning.

Notes from Vimeo:

— Winner of the 2013 National Magazine Awards for best Multimedia piece of the year —

Cheetahs are the fastest runners on the planet. Combining the resources of National Geographic Magazine and the Cincinnati Zoo, and drawing on the skills of an incredible crew, we documented these amazing cats in a way that’s never been done before.

Using a Phantom camera filming at 1200 frames per second while zooming beside a sprinting cheetah, the team captured every nuance of the cat’s movement as it reached top speeds of 60+ miles per hour.

The extraordinary footage … is a compilation of multiple runs by five cheetahs during three days of filming.

For more information about cheetah conservation, visit causeanuproar.com/



Categories: Green

11 replies

  1. They are the most amazingly graceful creatures to ever grace this earth, I was spellbound. Was it not nice that for once the music was not intrusive to the subject. Thank you once again PT for bringing something entirely different to us for our complete enjoyment. .

  2. I enjoyed it too. I noticed that apparently all 5 cats planted the right rear foot before the left one, causing me to wonder if they were all “right-handed’? Just the way my mind works, I guess.

    • It may mean they are “left-handed” (if you look at front legs) since when four-legged animals run, the diagonally opposite legs work together, so they can keep their balance. There is one gait (pace) that certain horses have where the legs on the same side work together.

      One thing I noticed is how far forward the rear paws reach and land (well in front of where the front paws just landed).

      I saw a weird optical illusion at one point. When the camera was showing just the cat’s hindquarters (wondering if that was intentional or the cameraman just failed to keep up), I was focusing on the spots and they suddenly started looking like holes, like the holes in cactus wood. Do you suppose I watched the film a little too often??

      • Left or right, it doesn’t matter. It’s just that t’s always the same hind foot that hits the ground first, ahead of the other (in this case, it’s the right one). I was just speculating that this might be analogous to how more humans are righties than lefties.

        • I was trying to explain that that must mean they lead with their left forefoot. Wouldn’t that make them “lefties”? Whichever, all five of them are apparently the same, so maybe that’s what’s dominant with cheetahs.

  3. Just popped by to watch this again, I’m damned if I can tell the difference between these animals, I looked and looked can’t tell, the markings around the mouth and on the cheeks looks the same all the way through, perhaps my eyes are dimming.
    Not that it bothers me not picking the different cheetah they’re all magnificent.

    • During the shots where the cheetahs were closing in on the lure, there were enough cuts to have worked in different animals. (I got a kick out of them opening their mouths in anticipation … and missing by just a few inches.) On one transition I thought I noticed a slight change in the overall coloring, from darker tawny to slightly lighter tawny. But I couldn’t say for sure. The spots would tell us if only we could compare freeze frames.

      And yes, they are magnificent!

  4. A video that’s always amazing to watch.
    You are right about some horses pace – and some racehorses/gaited show horses, their hind foot can reach in past where the front foot is – which can cause real problems if the hard hind hoof hits and cuts the front leg. With horses and people, the lead foot/dominant foot is the one that naturally gets stuck out first when taking a step – may not be the same as dominant hand with people. (Bet you could do research and determine that most cats, horses, people use the same dominant foot? )
    The weird thing with the spots becoming holes involves your perception of shapes – whether you see field dependent or field independent. Sounds like you switch back and forth. Being flexibly is good!

    • Seeing the “holes” was really weird. I try not to see them when I’m watching, just as I have to concentrate on not looking at the clump of orange flowers that goes by in the background. Funny how that happens. I see those flowers every single time; they never go away. The holes come and go.

“The opinions of others should not deter you from being yourself..” ~ Lailah Gifty Akita

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