May 2020 − News
Meet the King of the Sprint: the cheetah. In as little as three seconds, it can reach a speed of more than 100 kilometers per hour and thus accelerate almost faster than a Porsche. On top of its extraordinary running style, it is its lean physique that allows the feline predator to perform at this top level. But the cheetah cannot keep up this pace for very long; after about 400 meters it is exhausted.
In stark contrast to the athletic cheetah, a 55 ton sperm whale may not impress with its speed, but it is instead one of the loudest animals in the world.
Its clicking sounds reach a sound pressure level of 230 decibels. For the sake of comparison, a fighter jet at take-off emits a mere 140 decibels.
The water is home to even more champions within the animal kingdom; for example, the Greenland shark, with its life expectancy of 400 years. The only animal to surpass it in this way is the giant sponge Anoxycalyx joubini; it can reach the ripe old age of 10,000 years and it is thus the oldest living organism in the world. The secret to the longevity of these animals, presume scientists, is rooted in their particularly slow metabolism as well as in specific genetic features.