Paratarsotomus Macropalpis Dubbed Fastest Animal: Say What?By: Ellisha Rader Mannering - May 1, 2014
Ever heard of the Paratarsotomus macropalpis? Few people have, but the creature is actually a tiny beetle that is smaller than a sesame seed. The beetle was recently dubbed the fastest animal in the world and can travel at up to 322 body lengths per second.
If the bug were human size, it would be able to run 1300 miles per hour. Pretty impressive right? Researchers think so.
“It’s so cool to discover something that’s faster than anything else, and just to imagine, as a human, going that fast compared to your body length is really amazing. But beyond that, looking deeper into the physics of how they accomplish these speeds could help inspire revolutionary new designs for things like robots or biomimetic (sic) devices,” said Samuel Rubin, a student researcher at Pitzer College.
The research team was able to determine how fast the mites could move by using high-speed cameras to record the mites’ sprints in the laboratory and in their natural environment.
‘It was actually quite difficult to catch them, and when we were filming outside, you had to follow them incredibly quickly as the camera’s field of view is only about 10 centimeters across,’ said Rubin.
The beetle was first discovered in 1916, but little is known about it. It lives in Southern California and prefers rocky cliff areas and sidewalks.
Aside from running fast, the beetles can also change direction quickly, come to a complete stop with no problems and function at extremely high temperatures. The research team plans to study the mites more in hopes of learning more about them and how they can relate to bioengineering applications.
The tiny bugs are so fast that they could be right next to you, and you wouldn’t notice them running.
What do you think of these speedy little beetles?
Image via YouTube