Unexpectedly Intriguing!
September 1, 2017
Source: https://pubs.usgs.gov/gip/dinosaurs/speed.html

Could you outrun a velociraptor? Or a yeti? Or an elephant?

Those are all strange questions to ask, seeing as one of the animals mentioned is extinct, one is probably mythological and one is real. But no matter which one you might be engaged in footrace against, odds are that you have absolutely no idea as to whether or not you could beat it.

Until now, where thanks to science done by Myriam Hirt, Walter Jetz, Bjorn Rall and Ulrich Brose after studying almost 500 species at the German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research, we can now estimate the theoretical maximum speed that any creature that flies, runs or swims can go based on their body mass.

So we will. The following tool is based on the math for the scaling law they developed, where you just need to select the extinct, mythical or actual animal's mode of travel and their weight to get an estimate of their maximum speed. If you're accessing this article on a site that republishes our RSS news feed, please click here to access the original tool at our site.

Animal Speed Factors
Input Data Values
Optimal Mode of Movement
Body Mass [pounds]

Theoretical Maximum Potential Speed
Calculated Results Values
Maximum Speed [miles per hour]

For the default data in our tool, we've entered data that would apply to the velociraptor, where the surprising answer for fans of the Jurassic Park movies to the question of whether humans could outrun one is "yes", but you're certainly welcome to consider other creatures, whether they are alive today, are long since gone from the face of the Earth, or simply never ever were in the first place. Like the kind of velociraptors depicted in the Jurassic Park movies.

Other than that, the key thing to consider is that the results indicate the theoretical maximum potential speed of an animal based on its mode of movement and its mass - that's not the same thing as how fast an animal actually does move under real-life conditions or what speed it can sustain while racing with you, which will almost invariably fall well below their theoretical maximum speed. Just like yours!


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About Political Calculations

Welcome to the blogosphere's toolchest! Here, unlike other blogs dedicated to analyzing current events, we create easy-to-use, simple tools to do the math related to them so you can get in on the action too! If you would like to learn more about these tools, or if you would like to contribute ideas to develop for this blog, please e-mail us at:

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