Amazing Animal Records

The animal kingdom has its champions, too. A safari through YouTube’s wildlife clips reveals some fascinating and surprising records and some incredible footage from the wild world. (This article was first published in YouTube: World Records.)

Amazing Animal Records

Monkey Business

About 98 percent of their genome is identical to humans, so it is not surprising that chimpanzees are regarded as the smartest of animal species. They can make and use tools, hunt in organized groups, and have shown they are capable of empathy, altruism, and self-awareness. Over and above all this, they are adept at computer skills—and in the case of Ayumu, featured in this video, can beat a human at memory games.

Don’t Have a Cow

The world’s tallest cow ever officially recorded was Blossom, a female Holstein. She came in at a whopping height of 74.8 inches—that’s more than 6 feet tall! Blossom was first recognized by the Guinness World Records in Orangeville, Illinois, in May 2014, but went on to receive another honor, World’s Tallest Cow Ever, in 2015.

Big Bug

The Maoris call it “the God of Ugly Things.” A little rude? Looking at a picture of the giant weta,
you might think it’s a little like a cricket and not really that unsightly, but see the insect in real life and—whoa—it’s the size of a rodent. Once common in New Zealand, the world’s biggest insect is now believed to live on only Little Barrier Island, about 50 miles northeast of Auckland. Weighing more than a sparrow, this creature is too heavy to jump, let alone fly, but it can pack a nasty nip with its oversize pincers.

No Slouch

“When Bertie gets going, there’s no stopping him,” the owner of Adventure Valley, a children’s park in County Durham in England, told the Guardian newspaper, clearly suspecting that Bertie was the Usain Bolt of the tortoise world. Indeed, when Bertie was put to the test in September 2015, he smashed the record, covering 18 feet in 19.59 seconds. This was twice as fast as the previous time of 43.7 seconds, which had stood since 1977. Bertie’s speed equates to sprinting a mighty 0.6 miles per hour, so all hail the fastest tortoise in the world.

Dive Bomb

Most people can name the cheetah as the fastest mammal on earth, but the fastest creature on the planet? The answer is the peregrine falcon. Its horizontal cruising speeds reach up to only 50–65 miles per hour; but when in a hunting dive, known as a stoop, this bird of prey regularly flies more than 150 miles per hour—more than twice the speed of the cheetah—and has been recorded at 242 miles per hour. They plunge at such a rate that they kill their prey with a single blow.