Southern California tiny Mite is World's Fastest Land Animal (Relative to Size)
A Southern California mite (Paratarsotomus macropalpis) was recently recorded running at up to 322 body lengths per second. This makes it the world’s fastest land animal. Previously, this record was held by the Australian tiger beetle, which was recorded running at 171 body lengths per second. By comparison, a cheetah running at 60 miles per hour reaches only about 16 body lengths per second. The mite’s speed in terms of body length per seconds is equivalent to a person running roughly 1300 miles per hour.
Note: In theory, both relative speed and stride frequency increase as animals get smaller, and muscle physiology should at some point limit how quick a leg can move.
[icon name=”icon-question-sign”]What is “Body lengths per second”?
Body lengths per second is a measure of speed that reflects how fast an animal moves relative to its body size.
[icon name=”icon-question-sign”]How can this finding can be potentially useful?
The researchers are trying to get insights into the adeptness of these mites at stopping and changing directions extremely quickly. These may be relevant to bioengineering applications. The discovery is exciting not only because it sets a new world record, but also for what it reveals about the physiology of movement and the physical limitations of living structures.
Month: Current Affairs - May, 2014