Paragraphs: cheetah

2 - The Grammar Bit

The Grammar Bit!

Read the information about the cheetah opposite. You will notice that it is organised into 3 paragraphs. A paragraph is a collection of sentences based around a particular idea or topic. When the idea or topic changes, a new paragraph is needed.

Well formed paragraphs should begin with a topic sentence (bold). A topic sentence introduces the idea that all subsequent sentences within the paragraph are about.

Discuss with your talk partner what each paragraph is about.

Scintillating Sentences

Constantly changing direction to avoid capture, a cheetah’s prey rarely moves in a straight line. As a result, cheetahs cannot rely on their famed top speed to catch their food. They must constantly weave and change direction. This manoeuvring inevitably slows them down.

As the prey turns a corner, cheetahs bank and use their tails for stability. Their tails are long, flat and muscular and have adapted to act like the rudder of a ship. The acceleration and deceleration in the turns puts a lot of strain on their bodies. Using their tails in this way helps their stability and reduces the force through their legs.

Latest research has therefore shown that cheetahs are more like gymnasts when catching their prey than elite sprinters. As prey animals do not run in a straight line for very long, speed alone is not enough. They have to accelerate, decelerate, manoeuvre and turn which are much more like the skills gymnasts use.

Did you know?

The distinctive black ‘tear marks’ that run from a cheetah’s eyes to the corners of its mouth act like sunglasses, reflecting the glare of the sun while it hunts during the daytime.