Since the advent of life on our planet, everythingliving things fight for their place under the sun. Complex organisms such as humans, cheetahs and Brussels sprouts appeared on Earth through natural selection. This means that it took millions of years for each creature to gain its present appearance. When a cheetah pursues an antelope in the South African savannah, it is important to understand that it does so without the initial guarantee of success. Similarly, an antelope is not sure whether it can escape from a predator. The fact is that evolution gradually improved both of them, endowing them with dexterity, maneuverability and the ability to run fast. But how many animals on our planet can run very, very fast, and how does this skill help them survive? Let's find out who is the fastest on earth, water and in the air.
Research results show that peoplecan run at speeds up to 67 km per hour - in theory. In practice, the average speed of a sprint approaches 24 km per hour. Perhaps you may think that this is not so bad, but this is clearly not enough to win the race with any of the fastest animals on Earth. And many animals, as we all know perfectly, can move much faster than us, while many of them are predators. So who on our planet runs the fastest?
The fastest man on earth is a runner Usain boltaccording to data collected on varioussovrenovanikha, where he set world records one after another. The athlete can overcome the mark from 60 to 80 meters per 100 meter distance in 1.61 s. That in terms of the usual kilometers per hour, will give speed 44.72 km / h. According to the calculations of scientists, as we noted above, a person can in theory run another 20 km / h faster, but so far such a person has not been born on earth.
- 1 Fastest land animals
- 1.1 Hare
- 1.2 Antelope Pronghorn
- 1.3 Cheetah
- 2 Fastest Fish
- 2.1 Swordfish
- 2.2 Black marlin
- 2.3 Sailboat (fish)
- 3 Fastest Birds
- 3.1 Golden eagle
- 3.2 Frigate
- 3.3 Peregrine Falcon
- 4 Fastest Insects
- 4.1 Race Beetle
- 4.2 Cockroach
- 4.3 Dragonfly
The fastest land animalsBrown hare
Remember the fable of the hare and the tortoise? In fact, she appeared for a reason, because the hare is one of the fastest animals on our list. These small animals are really capable of overtaking most other animals. A brown hare can run extremely fast, developing speeds of up to 75 km per hour, which, of course, allows him to escape from a hungry predator. Grouse live mainly in Europe, Western and Asia Minor, as well as in North Africa. In Russia, the hare can be seen throughout the European territory of the country. Frankly, when writing this material, I was very surprised to learn that our native ordinary bunny, is such a high line among the fastest runners on planet Earth.
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The pronghorn antelope occupies an honorable second place among terrestrial animals in speed of movement. It may seem awesome, but Pronghorn can easily overtake most predators at a speed of about 96 km per hour. Moreover, most other antelopes develop a completely different speed - from 80 km per hour (wildebeest) to 40 km per hour (dikdi). It is also noteworthy that the pronghorns are the most ancient artiodactyls of North America. These unusual animals got their name because of the characteristic hooked horns that grow on the head of males and females, although in the latter they are noticeably thinner and shorter. The body weight of a pronghorn antelope varies from 35 to 60 kg, which, you see, is a lot. Since these artiodactyls run almost as fast as cheetahs, they owe this ability to a thick trachea, a voluminous lung, and a large heart that pumps oxygenated blood very quickly.
Cheetah is the fastest animal on land. In fact, the cheetah can run at a speed only slightly higher than the speed of the pronghorn antelope (96 km per hour) and can reach speeds of up to 98 km per hour. Yet the cheetah is faster than the pronghorn. However, due to the fact that cheetahs live in most countries of Africa and the Middle East, there is no opportunity to compete with pronghorn antelopes (pronghorns come from North America). But the fastest cheetah with a speed of up to 98 km per hour was a cheetah named Sarah, who set this record in 2012. It should be noted that scientists can not follow all the cheetahs in the world, and perhaps there are individuals that run faster than Sarah.
Unlike most other animals fromof our list, the cheetah is a predator that poses a serious threat to animals that live in the same geographical areas, not only in meadows, but also in forests. It is also important to understand that a cheetah is a sprinter, not a long distance runner. This graceful animal skillfully combines agility with speed during deadly attacks. Moreover, cheetahs can accelerate very quickly and can increase speed four times faster than you and I. And they stop very effectively and quickly. At the same time, the speed and dexterity of the cheetah are not combined with its strength - cheetahs are rather fragile animals and lose in most fights with other predators. As a result of their production, competitors often get it. A wounded cheetah is unable to run fast, which could put his life in danger.
The fastest fish
Since we found out who is the fastest on land,let's find out which inhabitants of the sea and ocean depths swim faster than others. In truth, before writing this article, I remembered almost all the fish that at least resemble those who can swim very quickly, but as a result did not guess any of those who occupy the leading positions on our list. I don’t know why, but it seemed to me that tuna swims very very quickly, while in fact its maximum speed is only 74 km per hour (although this is also an excellent result). By the way, did you know that the benefits of eating fish can be overestimated? Read more in our material, but for now, let's find out which fish swim faster than anyone in the world.
Swordfish are quite unusual creatures - longthey reach 4.5 meters. This species was first described in 1758 by the Swedish physician Karl Linnaeus. Externally, the swordfish looks quite colorful - it has a very elongated upper jaw - as if justifying the name of the swordfish - which it uses to stun prey, as well as a high fin on the back. In this case, the lower body of the swordfish is light, and the rest of the body is brownish-black. Since swordfish are predators, they must swim very quickly in order to catch prey. According to hypothetical calculations, swordfish can accelerate from 100 to 130 km per hour, but the exact speed of this inhabitant of the sea depths could not be calculated. Swordfish inhabit the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans, as well as in the Mediterranean Sea.
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In fact, all the fish on our list are swimming withat about the same speed, but more often than others the fastest fish is called a sailboat. Meanwhile, black marlin - fish from the marlin family, which are famous for their ability to swim quickly - some researchers consider the fastest on the planet. So, in the BBC video, it is said that black marlin swims faster than other marine inhabitants, accelerating to a record 131.4 km per hour. However, it must be clarified that this is the speed of unwinding the fishing reel when black marlin pecks on the hook. This unusual fish lives in the waters of the Pacific and Indian Oceans, and its dimensions inspire respect - the body length of black marlin can reach 4.65 meters and weight 750 kg. At the same time, outwardly, black marlin looks like a swordfish, so much so that it is difficult to immediately determine who exactly is shown in the photographs. One way or another, we can say with confidence that black marlin is really the fastest fish ... in the ocean.
So, the cheetah runs fastest on land, but what about the seas and oceans? The honor of being the fastest marine inhabitant went to the sailboat - fish that can reach speeds of up to 109 km per hour. Ponder - it's faster than speedmost cars driving along the highway. To roughly understand how fast this fish is swimming, you can imagine that your car is moving at a speed of about 110 km per hour, and the sailboat is only slightly behind you. However, sailors develop this incredibly fast speed mainly when they are scared - this allows them not only to swim away from danger, but also to scare predators. The rest of the time, the sailing fish is in no hurry. You can meet the fastest fish in the world in the Red and Mediterranean Seas.
The fastest birds
I don’t know if you are aware, but the birds arewarm-blooded egg-laying vertebrates (note how many characteristics) which biologists traditionally consider as a separate class. Their characteristic feature is a cover of feathers covering the body that they inherited from the dinosaurs. Feathers protect the bird's body from adverse temperature changes and play an important role during flight. By the way, not all birds on Earth can fly: penguins and kiwi birds are a clear confirmation of this. These guys are actually not inclined to rush somewhere, and therefore did not get on our list.
Representative of the hawk eagle family - thunderstormnot only small rodents, but even deer. These birds of prey are found in North America, South Africa and Europe, mainly in mountainous areas. There are golden eagles and in our country most likely you heard about them, as about predatory and aggressive birds. Horror in a sudden meeting with this feathered bird is added by the speed with which golden eagles cut across the sky - for example, during free fall golden eagles can accelerate to 320 km per hour, and the speed increases mainly due to the body weight of birds. So, males on average reach from 2.8 to 6.7 kg, and females are usually larger than males. However, the difference between golden eagles and peregrine falcons (the fastest birds in the world) lies in the wingspan, which is 180-120 cm. Golden eagles are also famous for their ability to build nests from tree branches, and they hatch their offspring for about 45 days.
Since now we know who is the fastestmoves by land and sea, it's time to air. And in this regard, one cannot but recall the frigates. These incredibly beautiful birds with magnificent bright red breasts are capable of developing speed up to 152 km per hour. Agree, this is very fast. In fact, frigates are relatives of pelicans and cormorants, but in contrast to them, the wingspan of frigates in relation to body weight is very large. This allows birds to remain in the air for so long that sometimes they don't land for more than a week, and frigates soar mainly over the tropics and subtropics.
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Agree, when it comes to the fastest animal on our planet, you can not ignore the habitat. As on land, cheetahs run the fastest, and the seas furrow sailboats at a speed of 110 km per hour, among insects there are no equal dragonflies, then in the air there is another bird that flies faster than all other birds - peregrine falcon (I hope you remember that high-speed trains in our country are often named after birds, so a peregrine Falcon running from Moscow to St. Petersburg is no exception). Peregrine Falcon can fly especially fast - their speed can reach up to 321 km per hour! Something unthinkable, right? The only thing to consider is that the peregrine falcon develops such speed during a dive, which makes these birds an incredibly formidable and fast hunter. When prey is caught, peregrine falcons fly not so fast, but this is hardly important for their prey. Thus, the fastest animal on planet Earth is the peregrine falcon. You can see these beautiful and unusual birds on all continents except Antarctica.
The fastest insects
And now let's move on to the most unpleasant,insect. We all know how hard it is to catch a fly or mosquito - they are dodgy, fast and annoying. Probably everyone tried to catch butterflies or dragonflies with the help of a landing net and they know firsthand how fast they are. But which of the insects is the fastest?
Honorable third place among the fastestthe insects of our planet are occupied by a racehorse, which not only flies, but also moves very quickly on the ground. In fact, biologists call the racehorse the fastest terrestrial insects, since when hunting prey, racehorse beetles can reach speeds of up to 2 meters per second. Agree, this is very fast. But these are flying - I’m not afraid of the word - useful insects over short distances. They are called useful because an adult horse beetle kills more than 400 different pests. It is also interesting that the horses soar into the air, barely sensing danger, which allows them to move very quickly to a safe place. These insects feed on the earth, and small insects and larvae prevail in their diet, and the bright color of the racehorse beetles makes them a welcome instance in the collections of insect lovers.
I don’t know if anyone likes cockroaches at all, butthese tenacious insects - to our great regret - move very quickly. Their very name, in fact, speaks about this, because the word cockroach comes from the Chuvash word "escaping." When these insects run away from danger, they are able to reach speeds of up to 5.4 km per hour, and given their size this is some kind of absolute record. In fact, cockroaches are one of the most ancient species on Earth. Many scientists believe that cockroaches have inhabited our planet for millions of years, during which they adapted to the ever-changing environmental conditions, so when they get into someone’s home, it’s very difficult to get rid of them. By the way, in our country there are nearly 55 species of cockroaches. Needless to say, these not very pleasant comrades live everywhere - on all continents except Antarctica. But the most long-living animals on our planet are naked mole rats. About what these little animals are and why they are so special, read in a fascinating article by my colleague Ramis Ganiev.
Since we are talking about the air element, thenDo not forget about insects. Despite the fact that the speed with which the bees fly causes at least admiration (65 km per hour), the speed of dragonflies is still much higher - up to 97 km per hour. In this case, most of the time, dragonflies move at a speed not exceeding 30 km per hour. Dragonflies accelerate to a speed of 95-97 km per hour during the hunt - they instantlythey calculate the victim’s flight path — dragonflies include flies, bugs, mosquitoes, and other small insects — and intercept prey on the fly. Awesome ability and no need for harassment. All the dragonfly needs to do is wait for the food to fall into her hands. In fact, dragonflies are one of the oldest insects that live on our planet. All over the world there are more than 6650 species. Needless to say, dragonflies can be found on all continents of the globe, including Antarctica.
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As you can see, the diversity of species on our planetamazing imagination: amazing creatures live in the sea, in the air and on land, which demonstrate many different ways of how they can adapt to survival in the environment. Although thanks to our tools and inventions a person can be at the top of the food chain, we are easily surpassed when it comes to speed. Many of the animals on our list travel as fast as the cars and trains we created.