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What Is the Fastest Primate on Earth?

Usain Bolt is usually considered to be the world’s fastest man, holding world records in both the 100-meter and 200-meter track events. His 9.58-second effort during the 100 meters at the 2009 World Championships in Athletics translates to a speed of 27.8 miles per hour (44.72 km/hour). But Usain Bolt would be no match for a patas monkey, thought to be the fastest primate on Earth. Native to central Africa, the patas monkey can achieve a top speed of over 34 mph (about 55 km/h), running on all four of its long limbs.

Our speediest relatives:

  • The patas monkey, also known as the wadi monkey or the hussar monkey, needs to be lightning-fast in order to evade predators such as lions and hyenas.
  • Patas monkeys are sometimes called “military monkeys” because of their formal-looking red coats and jaunty white mustaches.
  • Are humans primates? Genetic research suggests that humans and all other living primates evolved from a common ancestor between six and eight million years ago.
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