Size key to top speed in animals, study finds

Credit: Tom BrakefieldIt’s not quite E=mc2, but scientists unveiled Monday a simple, powerful formula that explains why some animals run, fly, and swim faster than others. Call it the “speed rule”: strength alone does not determine top velocity because land mammals, birds, and fish can only accelerate for as long as they can draw from available energy stored in muscle tissue. An intermediate body size — think cheetah, falcon, or marlin — is optimal for hitting that sweet spot between brawn and energy burst, the researchers discovered.  Too small, and there's not enough musculature; too big, and there's too much mass. Knowing only an animal's weight and the medium it moves in — water, air, or across land — is enough to calculate its maximum speed with 90 percent accuracy, they reported in the journal Nature Ecology & Evolution. The axiom even works retroactively for dinosaurs, they found. “Scientists have long struggled with the fact that the largest animals are not the fast

Size key to top speed in animals, study finds

It's not quite E=mc2, but scientists unveiled Monday a simple, powerful formula that explains why some animals run, fly and swim faster than all others.

Mon 17 Jul 17 from Phys.org

Why aren’t the biggest animals the fastest?

Being the fastest animal on land, in the sea or in the air is a trade-off between strength, mass and acceleration energy.

Mon 17 Jul 17 from Cosmos Magazine

Why aren’t the biggest animals the fastest?, Mon 17 Jul 17 from USA today

Why the cheetah is a champion sprinter

New research reveals why bigger is not always better in the animal world when it comes to speed.

Mon 17 Jul 17 from BBC News

Why Can’t Elephants Run Faster Than Cheetahs?

Why are cheetahs the fastest land animals? Why not elephants? Or something similar and bigger? You’d think with a long stride; it’d be easier to hit top speed. Or, going from the ...

Thu 20 Jul 17 from Geek.com

Now Scientists Can Accurately Guess The Speed Of Any Animal

Tue 18 Jul 17 from National Geographic

Why the Biggest Animals Aren't the Fastest

Here's why elephants can't run as fast as cheetahs.

Mon 17 Jul 17 from Livescience

Why the largest animals are never the fastest

Researchers at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research in Leipzig, Germany, found large animals run out of energy before being able to reach their maximum speed.

Mon 17 Jul 17 from Daily Mail

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