ZOOLYMPICS: Athletics - Marathon
Human (Homo sapiens)
When it comes to long distance, us humans (well… the very best of us) can give most other terrestrial species a run for their money. Patrick Makau Musyoki of Kenya set the world record for the marathon in Berlin last year with an impressive average speed of 13.6mph over the 26.2-mile race.
This beautiful horse was bred for speed and endurance and it shows – Arabian horses have been seen to cover 60 miles at an average speed of 16mph.
These incredible dogs are frequently raced over several days covering 20-30 miles a day with an average speed of 19mph or more, an amazing feat considering they must also pull the weight of the sled. They definitely deserve the position of ‘top dog’ in long distance running!
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ZOOLYMPICS: Swimming - 100m Freestyle
The beautiful fish of the marlin family can swim at speeds up to 50mph (80km/h). The largest species, the Atlantic blue marlin (Makaira nigricans), can reach up to a massive 20ft in length and 1800lb.
Wahoo (Acanthocybium solandri)
Sneaking into silver position is the tropical wahoo fish at up to 8ft long and 180lb. Whilst lacking the spear-like snout of its fellow medalists this streamlined fish can nevertheless reach speeds of up to 60mph (97km/h).
Sailfish (Istiophorus spp.)
This incredible 10ft, 220lb, perfectly streamlined fish can swim at speeds of up to 68mph (110km/h).
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ZOOLYMPICS: High Jump
Klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus)
This small African antelope can jump 10 times its own body height. The species are found in steep rocky regions and navigate this difficult terrain by balancing on the tips of their hooves, each less than 2cm in diameter!
These insects can jump up to 70 times their own body height as they move from plant to plant. This includes an incredible initial acceleration of up to 4000 metres per second.
The gold medal for high jump goes to the humble flea. Fleas are able to jump up to 150 times their own body height. That’s the equivalent to us taking a casual leap over this skyscraper.
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