The fastest land animal (relatively to its size)



While we all know that the fastest land animal, in absolute terms, is the cheetah, there are several contenders to the world records for speed, relatively to size. Since 2014, this title was delighted by ... a mite, capable of running at 322 times the size of his body per second. A man capable of such a feat would be approaching mach 2!

Img : P. macropalpsis (also called, acari speedius incredibili).

This little parasite a few millimeters long, Paratarsotomus macropalpis is able to reach prodigious accelerations or decelerations (average 7.2 m/s-2, and 10.1 m/s-2). Plus, it can run more than a meter per second, which, compared to its size, gives him the world record for the fastest known land animal

The former official or unofficial world records prove to be 2 times slower[1], with, for example, the tiny beetle Cincidella eburneola, which can travel up to 177 times its size per second, or the small desert silver ant Cataglyphis bombycina, which would be able to produce a sonic boom if it had human size. As a comparison, the famous cheetah  is hardly able to reach per second, about 16 or 17 times its size.

Paratarsotomus macropalpis is an arthropod, from class of arachnids (which includes scorpions and spiders), it therefore has four pairs of powerful and quite long legs (longer than its body) thanks to which it initiates incredible accelerations ranging easily up to 1 g (the gravity acceleration at the surface of the Earth), and hairpin turns or brakes even more dramatically. This is an endemic mite from Southern California whose stroke frequency is itself quite surprising: every second, each leg rises and falls on the floor nearly 135 times!