CLOSE
Original image
iStock

What Makes Peregrine Falcons the Fastest Animals on Earth?

Original image
iStock

One might say that the peregrine falcon is the cheetah of the sky: It lacks the cheetah's distinctive orange-and-black coloring, but in mid-air, the predatory bird can travel up to three times faster than the land-bound feline.

The crow-sized falcon cruises at rates between 40 and 60 miles per hour, and can even clear an astounding 293 feet per second while diving to capture prey. Learn how the bird’s body is built for speed by watching the video below, courtesy of Vox.

[h/t The Kid Should See This]

Original image
arrow
pretty pictures
9 Exhilarating Close-Up Photos of Sharks
Original image

Dive into the world of Shark, a new book by award-winning photographer Brian Skerry.

Original image
iStock
arrow
Animals
The Mules That Help Fight California's Wildfires
Original image
iStock

Forget dalmatians—in remote parts of Northern California, mules are the fire department's four-legged helpers of choice.

When a blaze roars to life in a residential area, firefighters can use trucks to transport the tools needed to battle it. But in the California wilderness, where vehicles—and sometimes thanks to environmental restrictions, helicopters—can’t venture, mules bear the burden. According to Business Insider, the donkey-horse hybrids can carry 120 pounds of supplies apiece while walking 4 mph up rugged terrain. Llamas are also capable of making the trek, but mules are preferred for their resilience and intelligence.

You can see them at work in the video below.

These animals do extraordinary work for the country, but they’re not the only mules assisting the U.S. government. The Havasupai village of Supai is located at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, and the mail is delivered there each day by parcel-toting mules.

[h/t Business Insider]

SECTIONS

arrow
LIVE SMARTER
More from mental floss studios