These are the 5 fastest land animals in the world over a quarter mile run, in this order. The cheetah would be first, followed by the pronghorn, in a tie for third would be the wildebeest and the Thompson’s gazelle, and finally the quarter horse, so named because it is the fastest horse in the world over the quarter mile distance. Of the animals racing however, it is the pronghorn which really blows me away with its abilities. Just a tiny bit behind the cheetah in speed over the quarter mile, suddenly at the quarter mile pole, things change dramatically. Generally, the cheetah must have caught its prey at this point, or it gives up the chase because it has to catch its breath. The quarter horse, so named for its speed over the ¼ mile distance, can keep running, but not at its top speed. The pronghorn can maintain a speed just under the top speed of the cheetah for four miles. If the ultimate race was a half mile, or a mile, or 4 miles, the pronghorn would be the fastest land animal on the planet!
The pronghorn is a relatively obscure North American animal, living on the western prairies. It is sometimes mistakenly called an antelope. Its vision is also remarkable, to see as well as a pronghorn a human would have to hold up a pair of binoculars with 7 times magnification. This little known amazing athlete of the animal world, has a unique set of super powers. It has no living relatives, I am absolutely amazed by this plucky little creature.