Monday, September 15, 2008
A monkey faster than Usain Bolt: The Patas Monkey
Able to reach a top speed of 35 miles per hour, the patas monkey is the world's fastest primate — not Jamaican Olympic sprinter and (human) world record holder Usain Bolt, contrary to what his apparently grandiose ego might have you think.
Speedendurance.com clocks Bolt's top speed at 27 miles per hour.
Now, Bolt is certainly impressive in his swiftness. And he is equally entertaining with his posturing and chest-thumping. But, I think the patas monkeys would yarn and roll their eyes in his general direction. Try running with pack of hungry hyenas on your tail, and then we can talk they might say.
Come to think of it - that would make the Olympics a whole lot more fun.
Because of their impressive speed, the Patas monkey is my September selection in the Monkey of the Month club.
Like the other OrnaMonkeys I've created, I chose to highlight it not only for its unusual appearance, but also for its amazing running ability.
This Old World monkey, native to central African savanna, has a body that suggests it is built for speed, something that's not surprising for a wily little monkey that inhabits grassland among big cats and other scary predators. They have a slender body, long hind limbs and a deep chest cavity to make room for oversized lungs.
The patas monkey is one of the only monkeys that spends its life almost entirely on the ground.
These monkeys are really, really cool. Since there's no video of patas monkeys racing Mr. Bolt, you'll have to settle for this parody I found if him on youtube. It's pretty funny, especially if you saw his chest beating during the Olympics.