Study says world's fastest land animal is a mite

Study says world's fastest land animal is a mite

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Critter travels 322 times per second the length of its own body. 'Paratarsotomus macropalpis'debunked the Australian tiger beetle.

The animal world has a new speed record, according to a study presented on Sunday, May 27, 2014, at the scientific meeting "Experimental Biology 2014" in San Diego, United States. The fastest land animal in the world, the survey points out, travels a distance equivalent to 322 times its body length in just one second.

It is the mite Paratarsotomus macropalpis. Under the size of a sesame grain, he toppled the former world record holder: the Australian tiger beetle, capable of covering 171 times its own length in a second.

This measure concerns the speed of the animal in proportion to its body size. Known for its speed, a cheetah that runs at a speed of about 95 km / h, for example, travels only 16 times its own length per second.

One of the students responsible for finding this type of mite and documenting its speed in the natural habitat was Samuel Rubin, a student at Pitzer College, California. so fast, considering its size, is really amazing, "he says.

If man had a speed equivalent to that of the species Paratarsotomus macropalpisgiven its size, it would be able to travel more than 580 meters every second.

For Rubin, studying how these arachnids can reach such high speeds can inspire revolutionary new technologies for building vehicles, robots and other equipment.

This type of mite is native to Southern California where it is commonly found on rocks and sidewalks. To determine their speed, scientists used high-speed cameras in the laboratory as well as in the animals' natural environment.

"It was very difficult to catch them, and when we were shooting outdoors, we had to follow them incredibly quickly, since the camera's field of view was only 10 centimeters," says Rubin.