The dynamics of predator-prey pursuit appears complex, making the development of
a framework explaining predator and prey strategies problematic. We develop a model for
terrestrial, cursorial predators to examine how animal mass modulates predator and prey trajectories
and affects best strategies for both parties. We incorporated the maximum speed-mass relationship
with an explanation of why larger animals should have greater turn radii; the forces needed to turn
scale linearly with mass whereas the maximum forces an animal can exert scale to a 2/3 power law.
This clarifies why in a meta-analysis, we found a preponderance of predator/prey mass ratios that
minimized the turn radii of predators compared to their prey. It also explained why acceleration data
from wild cheetahs pursuing different prey showed different cornering behaviour with prey type.
The outcome of predator prey pursuits thus depends critically on mass effects and the ability of
animals to time turns precisely.