SPEED—–WHO HAS THE EDGE?

When many people are asked to name the world’s fastest animal they immediately think of the cheetah. But if they were to look up at the sky they’d find an aerial acrobat that can achieve speeds more than three times as fast —a falcon.download (5)

Cheetah——  With a top speed of 71 miles an hour cheetah is the fastest land animal. Its bones are light and its body thin and long. Its legs are long and its paws are small. Unlike other members of the cat family, it has short unsheathes claws. It is the only cat that always bares its claws, which helps with running but dulls them for fighting. Its nasal passages are larger to take in more oxygen during a chase but they leave less room for tearing teeth or canines. Its fangs are shorter than those of other predators. The cheetah’s most famous feature is also its biggest liability. Because cheetahs hunt at such high speeds they need more time to recover. After a kill a cheetah needs to rest for thirty minutes before it can eat.download (6)

A PEREGRINE FALCON  ——  it is like a bad boy of the bird world. When it locks on to an airborne target it can reach 45 mph, a diving speed of  200  miles an hour. It is not just the fastest bird in the sky but the fastest animal on Earth. With their powerful chest muscles long wingspan and streamlined shape peregrine falcons are truly built for speed. Found on every continent except Antarctica peregrine falcons are the most widespread bird in the world, absent only on isolated islands and in high mountains expansive deserts and jungles. They can be identified by their bluish gray backs and similarly colored long pointed wings as well as the white and black spots on their bellies. They also have black stripes set against their whitish faces which resemble mustaches.download (7)

EMPEROR DRAGONFLY——- travelling at a top speed 35 mph it is one of the fastest insects on the planet. He’s a full on stunt pilot with the maneuverability of a helicopter and the speed of a jet flighter. The dragonfly can move with ease in any direction  forwards  backwards and sideways. His breathtaking air combat skills are down to wings that are hinged onto the body with flexible pivots that can twist in flight. Each one is controlled separately giving precision movement. To keep alive he needs to eat a fifth of his body weight every day. Sight is dragonfly’s one of the most important senses. Each eye contains up to 30,000 tiny lenses. With all those lenses a dragonfly can virtually see in a complete circle. With an impressive airspeed of 200 miles an hour the peregrine is the fastest natural born hunter on the planet.

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courtesy     young world   THE HINDU

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