The list of the top 10 fastest land animals has a new entry, and it's in the number one spot, according to a recent study.
The mite Paratarsotomus macropalpis, although no bigger than a sesame seed, was recently recorded running at up to 322 body lengths per second, a measure of speed that reflects how quickly an animal moves relative to its body size.
Extrapolated to the size of a human, the mite's speed is equivalent to a person running roughly 1,300 miles per hour. The findings will be presented at the Experimental Biology 2014 meeting in San Diego.
"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," project leader Samuel Rubin, a junior and physics major at Pitzer College, said. "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 devices."