scatterplot

Why Biggest Isn’t Fastest in the Animal Kingdom

Body Mass and Maximum Speed of Species, by Movement Type
graph from The Economist; slow reveal by Jenna Laib (@jennalaib)

(Slide deck includes notes and questions to elicit discourse)

Type of Graph: scatterplot

Source: The Economist’s Chart of the Day Team, “Why biggest isn’t fastest in the animal kingdom: Medium-sized beasts tend to outpace their heftier cousins.” The Economist, July 26, 2017.
Source: Hirt, M.R., Jetz, W., Rall, B.C. et al. A general scaling law reveals why the largest animals are not the fastest. Nat Ecol Evol 1, 1116–1122 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0241-4

Additional Paired Texted/Resources:

  • Hirt, M.R., Jetz, W., Rall, B.C. et al. A general scaling law reveals why the largest animals are not the fastest. Nat Ecol Evol 1, 1116–1122 (2017). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41559-017-0241-4
  • Orszulok, Alice. “Bigger isn’t always better — or faster.” Science Illustrated Australia: May 5, 2012.
  • Puiu, Tibu. “Why bigger isn’t necessarily faster: a look at animal speed limit.” ZME Science: July 18, 2017.

Potential Math Content: scatterplots, line of best fit, logarithmic scale, labels, bivariate data

Potential Content Connections: animals, biology

1 thought on “Why Biggest Isn’t Fastest in the Animal Kingdom”

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