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Nature & Environment

Is this the world's fastest-moving organism ?

By T.K. Randall
August 30, 2018 · Comment icon 2 comments



Blink and you'll miss it. Image Credit: CC BY 2.0 Picturepest
A single-celled protozoan may actually be a lot faster than cheetahs, marlins or peregrine falcons.
It might not be the first thing that springs to mind when it comes to listing the world's fastest animals, but Spirostomum ambiguum - a tiny worm-like creature that can grow up to 4mm, is so quick that its movements are barely even perceptible to the naked eye.

Typically found in lakes and ponds, this tiny organism is capable of contracting its body by up to 60% in the blink of an eye without damaging itself or crushing any of its internal organs.
What's more, nobody actually knows how this is possible, prompting Georgia Tech's School of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering to initiate a new four-year study in to the mystery.

"As engineers, we like to look at how nature has handled important challenges," said assistant professor Saad Bhamla.

"We are always thinking about how to make these tiny things that we see zipping around in nature. If we can understand how they work, maybe the information can cross over to fill the gap for small robots that can move fast with little energy use."



Source: Gizmodo | Comments (2)


Recent comments on this story
Comment icon #1 Posted by pallidin 4 years ago
Sorry, but the fastest creature go to me... When my wife finds-out I've done something wrong, and I can spot an exit door. 
Comment icon #2 Posted by Nzo 4 years ago
Replace wife with mom and now everything Freud has ever said comes into focus.   Our greatest inventions come from observing the natural world. I would go as far as to say all of our inventions come from observing the natural world. Great engineering!


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