Flying in the face of facts

EARLIER last century, a scientist claimed that the tiny insect called the deer botfly was the fastest living thing on earth, flying at speeds of 1300km an hour. That's faster then the speed of sound! You can still read about the botfly's tremendous speed - but scientists today know that no insect can fly that fast. Insects are very light, and no matter how fast their wings beat, they can't push themselves through the air at such great speeds. However, scientists now estimate that dragonflies, also called "darning needles", can reach speeds of about 88km an hour when trying to escape danger. -

EARLIER last century, a scientist claimed that the tiny insect called the deer botfly was the fastest living thing on earth, flying at speeds of 1300km an hour. That's faster then the speed of sound! You can still read about the botfly's tremendous speed - but scientists today know that no insect can fly that fast. Insects are very light, and no matter how fast their wings beat, they can't push themselves through the air at such great speeds. However, scientists now estimate that dragonflies, also called "darning needles", can reach speeds of about 88km an hour when trying to escape danger. -

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