A general scaling law reveals why the largest animals are not the fastest

  title={A general scaling law reveals why the largest animals are not the fastest},
  author={Myriam R Hirt and Walter Jetz and Bj{\"o}rn C. Rall and Ulrich Brose},
  journal={Nature Ecology \& Evolution},
Speed is the fundamental constraint on animal movement, yet there is no general consensus on the determinants of maximum speed itself. Here, we provide a general scaling model of maximum speed with body mass, which holds across locomotion modes, ecosystem types and taxonomic groups. In contrast to traditional power-law scaling, we predict a hump-shaped relationship resulting from a finite acceleration time for animals, which explains why the largest animals are not the fastest. This model is… 

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