The Fastest Long-Distance Runner of the Animal Kingdom

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Did you know that the pronghorn is the fastest long distance runner in the animal kingdom
The pronghorn is the fastest long-distance runner of the animal kingdom, capable of maintaining a speed of nearly 35 mph (56,33 km/h) over several miles (1 mile = 1,66 km). That’s faster than most marathon runners, but not as fast as a pronghorn running away from a cheetah.

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For those in a hurry:

  • The pronghorn is a hoofed mammal that lives in North America.
  • It can run at speeds of up to 35 mph (56,33 km/h) for several miles (1,66 km).
  • It is faster than most marathon runners and can outrun predators like coyotes and wolves.
  • It has a large heart, lungs and windpipe to supply oxygen to its muscles.
  • It also has long legs, cushioned hooves and a flexible spine to absorb shocks and maintain balance.

The Fastest Long-Distance Runner: What is a Pronghorn?

A pronghorn is not an antelope, although it looks like one. It belongs to a unique family of animals called Antilocapridae, which means “antelope-goat”. It is the only living member of this family.

The pronghorn lives in the grasslands, deserts and shrublands of western and central North America. It is one of the most widespread mammals in the continent, ranging from southern Canada to northern Mexico.

The pronghorn has a tan or reddish-brown coat with white markings on its face, neck, chest and belly. It has two horns on its head, which are actually modified hairs. The horns are branched and shed annually. The males have longer and thicker horns than the females.

The pronghorn is herbivorous, meaning it eats plants. It feeds on grasses, forbs, shrubs and cacti. It can digest tough and prickly plants that other animals avoid. It also needs very little water and can survive on dew and snow.

The Fastest Long-Distance Runner: How Does it Run So Fast?

The pronghorn is the fastest long-distance runner of the animal kingdom. It can run at speeds of up to 35 mph (56,33 km/h) for several miles (1,66 km). That’s faster than most marathon runners, but not as fast as a pronghorn running away from a cheetah.

The pronghorn has several adaptations that allow it to run so fast and for so long. It has a large heart, lungs and windpipe that can pump and deliver oxygen to its muscles. It also has a high concentration of red blood cells that carry oxygen in the blood.

The pronghorn has long legs that can cover a lot of ground with each stride. It has cushioned hooves that reduce the impact of running on hard surfaces. It also has a flexible spine that helps it change direction quickly and maintain balance.

The pronghorn uses its speed as a defense against predators. It can outrun coyotes, wolves, cougars and bears. However, it cannot outrun cheetahs, which are the fastest land animals in short bursts. Fortunately, cheetahs do not live in North America.