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Paratarsotomus Macropalpis: Calif. Mite Dubbed Fastest Land Animal

Paratarsotomus macropalpis

Paratarsotomus macropalpis is getting loads of attention around the web today because the California mite has been dubbed the “fastest land animal” on the planet. According to NewsMax,the mite is smaller than a sesame seed, but the little bugger is quick; It can run up to 322 body lengths per second! If a human were to run that fast, it would be running approximately 1,300 miles-per-hour.

Samuel Rubin, a student researcher at Pitzer College, explained:

“It’s so cool to discover something that’s faster than anything else, and just to imagine, as a human, going that fast compared to your body length is really amazing. But beyond that, looking deeper into the physics of how they accomplish these speeds could help inspire revolutionary new designs for things like robots or biomimetic (sic) devices.”

The paratarsotomus macropalpis was videotaped using a high-speed camera and its speed was calculated from the footage. Not only is the creature fast but it is also agile, able to change direction and come to a complete stop with ease. According to, the mite beat out the former speed champion, the Australian tiger beetle, which can run 171 body lengths per second. The record-shattering creature is 0.7 mm long, which is actually large for a mite. Its long legs likely help it cover more ground than the average insect (though a mite is technically not an insect).

Jonathan Wright, a professor of biology at Pomona College, says:

“We were looking at the overarching question of whether there is an upper limit to the relative speed or stride frequency that can be achieved. When the values for mites are compared with data from other animals, they indicate that, if there is an upper limit, we haven’t found it yet.”

Paratarsotomus macropalpis easily beat out the speed of a cheetah, which many people think of as being very fast. As previously reported by TheInquisitr, the Cheetah actually doesn’t run nearly as fast as you might think. Researchers say that the top speed of a cheetah is about 65 mph. Compare that to the incredible speed of this mite, and there is nothing but dust left behind. A lot of bugs and other animals with “creepy, crawly” traits tend to be quick, but something like the paratarsotomus macropalpis is so fast that it could go undetected.

The animal does fine on surfaces that reach up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit… which exceeds the maximum temperature that most animals can withstand.

[Photo Credit: Grace C. Wu et al. 2010. The Journal of Experimental Biology; doi: 10.1242/jeb.024463 via ]

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One Response to “Paratarsotomus Macropalpis: Calif. Mite Dubbed Fastest Land Animal”

  1. Babu G. Ranganathan

    NOT MADE BY NATURE! Just because something exists in nature doesn't mean it was invented or made by Nature. If all the chemicals necessary to make a cell were left to themselves, "Mother Nature" would have no ability to organize them into a cell. It requires an already existing cell to bring about another cell. The cell exists and reproduces in nature but Nature didn't invent or design it! Nature didn't originate the cell or any form of life. An intelligent power outside of nature had to be responsible.

    Natural laws can explain how an airplane or living cell works, but it's irrational to believe that mere undirected natural laws can bring about the origin of an airplane or a cell. Once you have a complete and living cell then the genetic program and biological machinery exist to direct the formation of more cells, but how could the cell have originated naturally when no directing code and mechanisms existed in nature? All of the founders of modern science believed in God. Read my Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM

    Only evolution within "kinds" is genetically possible (i.e. varieties of dogs, cats, etc.), but not evolution across "kinds" (i.e. from sea sponge to human). How did species survive if their vital tissues, organs, reproductive systems were still evolving? Survival of the fittest would actually have prevented evolution across kinds! Read my Internet article: WAR AMONG EVOLUTIONISTS! (2nd Edition). I discuss: Punctuated Equilibria, "Junk DNA," genetics, mutations, natural selection, fossils, genetic and biological similarities between species.

    Natural selection doesn't produce biological traits or variations. It can only "select" from biological variations that are possible and which have survival value. The real issue is what biological variations are possible, not natural selection. Only limited evolution, variations of already existing genes and traits are possible. Nature is mindless and has no ability to design and program entirely new genes for entirely new traits.

    What about genetic and biological similarities between species? Genetic information, like other forms of information, cannot happen by chance, so it is more logical to believe that genetic and biological similarities between all forms of life are due to a common Designer who designed similar functions for similar purposes. It doesn't mean all forms of life are biologically related! Also, "Junk DNA" isn't junk. These "non-coding" segments of DNA have recently been found to be vital in regulating gene expression (i.e. when, where, and how genes are expressed). Read my popular Internet article: HOW FORENSIC SCIENCE REFUTES ATHEISM

    Read my popular Internet article, HOW DID MY DNA MAKE ME?

    Visit my newest Internet site: THE SCIENCE SUPPORTING CREATION

    Babu G. Ranganathan*
    (B.A. theology/biology)


    * I have had the privilege of being recognized in the 24th edition of Marquis "Who's Who In The East" for my writings on religion and science, and I have given successful lectures (with question and answer time afterwards) defending creation from science before evolutionist science faculty and students at various colleges and universities

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