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Who’s tops in animal Olympic contest?

Cape Town - The human world is rightly celebrating the outstanding achievements of athletes like Chad le Clos, Bradley Wiggins and, probably, Usain Bolt at the Olympics.

So the International Union for the Conservation of Nature has used the opportunity to issue a gentle reminder that people aren’t the only species capable of amazing sporting feats.

The cheetah makes even Usain Bolt look slow. Picture: Michael Walker. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

Yes, we all know that the cheetah can make Bolt, pictured, look slow by reaching its top speed of perhaps as much as 114km/h, but what about the Common Froghopper (Philaenus spumarius) that’s a probable high jump winner as it can jump 115 times its own height?

And in the gymnastics events, the graceful Agile Gibbon (Hylobates agilis) and dancing birds-of-paradise would wow us with their moves, says the union.

It’s also offered these potential gold medal winners:

Weightlifting – Rhinoceros Beetle (Xyloryctes thestalus) is able to carry loads of more than 30 times its body mass and is among the strongest animals on earth. In comparison, the heaviest individual weight lifted by a human in an Olympic competition was 263.5kg by Hossein Rezazadeh, a weight of about one-and-a-half times his own body weight and equivalent to lifting four average-sized people. - Cape Argus

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