Best animal athletes in the world

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 in Skills

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Best shot – The archer fish

Lizards are exceptionally good at ‘firing’ their long tongues to catch unsuspecting insects.  But the best shot award must go to the small archer fish. It ‘shoots down’ insects in its firing line above the water, by using its mouth and tongue to form a natural water pistol. It can fire a jet of water about 150 cm - which would be like us trying to spit across a football (soccer) pitch.

 

© mdalla – Fotolia.com

Best marathon performer – The arctic tern

This plucky bird flies upwards of 20,000 miles every year from the Arctic to the Antarctic and back again. It manages to fly vast distances without taking a break because, compared to walking or swimming, flying uses up very little energy. Arctic terns stock up on food before they migrate and put on fat that will fuel them for thousands of miles.

 

© Angela Cable – Fotolia.com

Best middle distance runner – The pronghorn anteloper

This elegant grazer can run almost as fast as a cheetah but its real strength lies in its running endurance. In fact, if a cheetah cannot catch the pronghorn antelope in around 20 seconds - it can forget about lunch. That’s because this incredible animal can run at a lung busting 40 mph for over four miles without a rest.

 

© beckmarkwith – Fotolia.com

Best sprinter – The cheetah

A cheetah can  accelerate from 0-60 mph in less than 3 seconds - quicker than most Ferraris. They can hit nearly 70 mph and rely on their speed to catch the gazelles and antelopes they feed on. Which is why they have a long tail for balance; a bendy spine for huge stride length; a small head  to lower wind resistance; black eye markings to reduce glare and non retractable claws for grip.

Best hurdler

A kangaroo can hop faster than we can run and can do so for hours. Its stride length is over seven metres long [21 feet].

Best all out jumper

A flea can leap 20cm.and long jump over 30cm. Which is like us leaping over a skyscraper and long jumping over eight buses.

Best weightlifter

The rhinocerous beetle can lift 850 times its own bodyweight on its back. That would be like us trying to lift a double decker bus.

Best boxer

Young male kangaroos love to play box, altho’ they tend to throw in the odd kick as well.

Best wrestler

Cockroaches often wrestle each other to death. The winner is the first to flip his opponent onto his back.

Best kung fu master

Many animals can deliver a powerful kick. But the mightiest belongs to the giraffe whose lethal kung fu kick can decapitate a lion.

Best synchronised swimmers

Fish such as mackeral swim in shoals of 10,000+ - yet can move as one.  This makes it difficult for predators to isolate them.

 

© Kiwi – flickr

Best diver – The gannet

While Leatherback turtles and Emperor penguins can deep diver and for longer, the award for best diver surely goes to the crazy ganet. When hunting for fish, this lunatic of a bird dives head-first into the sea at a skull shattering 60mph. They survive this daily encounter due to their incredibly aerodynamic head that scythes through the water.

Best sword fighter

The Narwhal possesses a natural sword, which is actually a 10-foot left tooth! Swordfighting between males is not uncommon.

 

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