Friday, October 19, 2007

Stamp of the Day: Fastest animal in the world

When I wrote the Stamp of the Day post about Pronghorns I didn't know that Peregrine falcons were the fastest animal in the world, but if I just had looked at some other stamps in the same series I might have gotten a hint. So, not only is it the Fastest Bird in the world, but actually the fastest animal period. I think the US Post Office is not really clear about this on their stamps. Since when were falcons not land animals? USPS say the Pronghorn is the fastest land animal on their stamp, but I think falcons are land animals too. Or is there a special category for flying animals that live on land? Aquatic, terrestrial, and 'aero' animals? (There might be bacteria that are moving faster, who knows!? Which category would they belong too?)

So, here it is, the fastest animal in the world: the beautiful and fascinating peregrine falcon, nesting in such diverse places as New York city skyscrapers and remote cliff sides.

Olle wondered how their brains stand the g-forces when they twist and turn at 320 km/h as well as the impact forces when they stop. I have no idea - any suggestions?


PP said...


LS said...

wow, 25G!
"Inside the head, the nostrils are spiralled, it is thought that this helps the bird take the large G-force without passing out."

nostrils in spirals... oh, all the things evolution can do!

O.K. said...

I must say that the speed surprises me, I would have guessed that the maximum velocity at a free fall would be less for an animal of such a small (I think) density. But it says 322 km/h on wikipedia so it must be true. ;)

How would spiraling nostrils help?

O.K. said...

According to wikipedia they aim for a wing on their prey to lessen the impact. I imagine it is quite a blow anyhow.