Flashback Friday: Top Five Most Olympic-Worthy Animals

First off, I’d like to apologize for the late update. I have been busy with all of my classes.

This article appeared in the school newsletter of a school I once attended, and I wrote this in honor of a student who had been in the Special Olympics, who sadly passed away.

5. Cheetah. 

Cheetah

There’s hardly anything in nature more striking than the sight of this endangered Africa cat with its golden coat and black spots. You may think that the spots are just for decoration, but they actually serve a purpose: the spotted coat breaks up the animal’s outline, hiding it from predators and prey. They’re most famous for being the fastest mammals o Earth and for appearing on bags of cheese curls. Although the cheetah can run up to 70 miles per hour, it cannot keep this speed up for long. Running at this speed takes such a toll on the cat’s heart that a cheetah will spend up to ten minutes catching its breath before eating its catch, hence its place at number five.

4. Shark. 

M-OMalley-Great-White-0230

While sharks are maligned in our culture for their abilities to feast on people, most shark attacks are cases of “test biting” to see what we are, and a human’s fat to muscle ratio does not make us ideal foodstuff for these ocean predators. Shark bodies are muscle machines, and some sharks can reach speeds of 25 miles per hour. To put that in perspective, Michael Phelps typically swims at around 12 miles per hour.

3. Horned dung beetle. 

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Most people know that ants can lift 50 times their own body weight, but another six-legged critter outmatches them in terms of strength. While the horned dung beetle may not be the most hygienic insect, it earns the honor as the strongest insect in science. It can pull 1,141 times its own body weight, which is like a 140 pound or 63.5 kg human pulling 159,740 pounds, or 72,609 kg.

2. Saluki

Saluki

Salukis are one of the oldest breeds existing, with origins tracing back to ancient Egypt. They were originally bred to hunt gazelles, so it makes perfect sense that Salukis evolved with larger hearts and well-padded feet for long-distance running. They are truly beautiful dogs, coming in a variety of colors including red, white, silver, cream, and gold. As pets, they are intelligent but stubborn, aloof toward stranges, and affectionate with their owners when raised properly.

1. Peregrine falcon. 

Peregrine falcon

Most people would assume that the cheetah is the world’s fastest animal, but that title goes to the peregrine falcon. The speckled birds reside in western Mexico and US states, although they may be seen up north during breeding season and farther east when migrating. Peregrine falcons usually feed on other birds like doves, waterfowl, and quail, although it may also take on insects, reptiles, and even bats. A diving peregrine falcon reaches speeds of 200 miles per hour, earning it a number one placement on this list.

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