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Why animals would win every gold medal at the Olympics

The Olympic Games are a celebration of humans’ strength, speed, and stamina. London 2012 is currently upon us, in which the greatest athletes from across the globe compete to see who can run faster, jump higher, and leap longer than any other human in the world.

We like to think of ourselves as the most powerful creatures on the planet, but we are fooling ourselves. A tuna fish can swim ten times faster than Michael Phelps. A patas monkey would beat Usain Bolt by three seconds in the 100 metre sprint.

The two links below are a reminder that the animal kingdom has the most phenomenal athletes in this world. The power of evolution and the need for survival can create more incredible speed and strength than any gym or training field. And it also demonstrates that, if all animals could enter the Olympic Games, human beings would probably finish bottom of the medal table.

Slide show: The Nature Conservancy

Animal Olympics: BBC Nature