November 5, 2010
The New York City marathon is this weekend and our Kilimanjaro department is abuzz, quite a few of our guests are participating in the race. We wish our friends luck and hope they run as fast as an ostrich. Yes, an ostrich!
Cheetahs usually get all the glory when it comes to speed – after all, they are the fastest land animals, with top speeds of about 70 mph – but cheetahs would never win a marathon. Cheetahs are unbeatable in the 100 yard dash but distances beyond 100 yards cause these cats to overheat. Ostriches on the other hand, are not only fast but are also one of the most efficient runners. These humongous birds use half of the energy humans do at their top speed, which allows them to run longer distances.
The secret to the ostrich’s efficiency lies in the “spring” in their step. According to a recent study, “Ostriches generate over twice as much power from recoil of elastic energy stored in tendons than humans, which means they need less muscle power to run at the same speed.”
Read more about a recent study featured on BBC Earth News drawing comparisons between the ostrich and the human gait.
Source: BBC Earth News
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