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Monday
Jan112016

Five Ways Animals Are Better Than Humans

From Blue Whales and Elephants to hummingbirds and Thailand 2 gram bumblebee bats – everything is possible in the animal kingdom. Humans are supposed to be at the top of the food chain; we have built cities, explored the world… Our list of accomplishments is long, and yet, animals still surpass us in many ways!

Strength

The World’s Strongest Man is Eddie Hall. He deadlifted 1020 pounds! His incredible strength got him into the World Records, but it is nothing compared to animals.
An elephant can lift 600 pounds just with its trunk; the trunk contains over 40,000 muscles. But is it the strongest animal? Not even close. In relative strength, a rhinoceros beetle is much stronger. This insect is tiny, but can lift and carry 850 times its own bodyweight with a little horn on its head. If Eddie Hall carried 850 times his own body weight, we would be walking around with 316,200 pounds on his shoulders – that is the weight of a large, adult Blue Whale or a wooden tea!

flickr | Nigel JonesMigration

Artic terns are known as migration champions. They travel 22,000 miles every year. Grey Whales and Northern Elephant seals hold the record of longest migration among mammals with an impressive 13,000 miles round trip. Ten years ago a great white shark made it from Africa to Australia, travelling the 12,400 miles in nine months. But the longest non-stop migration by a bird (that was recorded!) was done by a bar-tailed godwit. In just nine days it flew 7,145 miles from Alaska to New Zealand. It lost half its body weight as it didn’t stop to drink or eat during this time.

Do we even dare compare humans to this? Firstly, we can’t fly. Even after we built planes, the longest non-stop flight covered 10,376 miles from Singapore to New York and the Airbus had four engines, a pilot and co-pilot and everyone got to take breaks for food. The bar-tailed godwit did it all alone.

flickr | Wayne ButterworthSpeed

Two years ago everyone was cheering on Usain Bolt when he broke the world record, running at 27.79 miles an hour during a 100 metre sprint. And he is still strikingly slower than animals.

The cheetah is known as the fastest animal on land and it can run more than twice the speed of Bolt. In three seconds, it can reach a speed of 60 miles an hour and run almost three sprints.
In the water, a sailfish can be even faster and swim at 68 miles an hour.
But even faster is the peregrine falcon. It would easily overtake any car on a German motorway at 200 miles an hour (the suggested speed is 80 miles an hour).

flickr | Gary EyringJumps

One animal can beat humans in two categories at once. The impala, an antelope living in Africa, can jump33 feet far and 20 feet high if it feels danger coming. It is a defence mechanism, but also for fun.
Humans have created Olympics to compete in those categories and so far, the records lie with Mike Powell for the long jump, who reached just over 29 feet and Gerald Sensabaugh jumped just under 4 foot in 2005. If our sporting competitions ever open to animals, humans will be off the winning podium as fast as a cheetah can run!

flickr | Ray MorrisBy Claire Herbaux  Online Journalism Intern

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