Cheetah

  • The cheetah is the fastest land animal on the planet - during a hunt it can reach speeds of up to 58mph/93km/h.
  • Their average top speed is 54km / hr.
  • Built for speed, cheetahs don't have the bulk to necessary to defend their kills, losing a good many of their kills to other predators
  • They eat fast- polishing a carcass off in 1-2 hours Darwin’s Bark Spider
  • A 3 cm long Darwin bark spider can spray a line of silk a distance of 25 metres.
  • Its silk is the toughest natural fibre on the planet.
  • Its silk is at least twice as tough as any other known spider silk, it is ten times tougher than Kevlar.

Leopard

  • As ambush hunters, leopards attack by getting close then pouncing on their prey. A Leopard must get to within 4 metres of its prey to have any chance of success.
  • Specially adapted shoulder muscles enable leopards to climb with ease. To avoid scavengers and other predators leopards frequently cache their prey in trees.
  • Despite being the most adaptable and widespread of the big cats (Genus Panthera) leopards are solitary and highly elusive. Superb camouflage enables them to go unseen in their surroundings.
  • A leopard can reach speeds of 60kmph in short bursts – and can jump several metres horizontally or vertically.

Polar Bears

  • In the spring, on the sea ice, it takes a polar bear 3 days of hunting to catch one seal; in the summer, when the ice is broken up, and the bears must hunt in the water, it takes 5.
  • Polar bears don’t hibernate – they hunt throughout the long, dark winter. It is only after the ice has melted in the late summer, that their activity drops to that of a hibernating grizzly – they are ice bears. When the ice has gone, their metabolism drops and they enter a zombie-like state.
  • A polar bear can smell the breathing hole of a seal from 1km away.

Frigatebirds

  • Frigatebirds are the only marine predator that never actually touches the ocean’s surface – they cannot take off from water and will drown if they get wet.
  • On average frigatebirds only encounter a feeding opportunity for every 105km of flight while foraging.
  • Frigatebirds have the lowest wing loading ratio (body mass per area of wing) of any bird, allowing for incredibly efficient soaring flight on trade winds.
  • Frigatebirds live in the tropics in the trade wind regions.

Blue whale

  • They can grow up to 30 m/100 ft long and weigh up to 190 tonnes.
  • The blue whale is largest predator (and animal) ever to have lived on planet earth, its tongue alone can weigh as much as an elephant.
  • A blue whale can hold up to 100 tonnes of krill and water in a single mouthful – so, for an average sized blue whale (that weighs 100 tonnes) it doubles its body weight with a mouthful.
  • Blue whales feed exclusively on krill and can consume 3600kg of krill in a single day.
  • It’s thought that they don’t actually like fish as they seem to actively avoid eating krill that has fish around it.