If you lined up all the creatures on Earth in one starting gate, here’s what would happen.
“Ladies and gentlemen, the beasts are at the post for the first running of the Animal Kingdom Invitational Handicap Race, to be run at the distance of one mile over a hilly savanna course labeled ‘fast.’
“They’re having a little trouble keeping Warthog straight–he’s trying to attack Gnu in the next stall. They have the Giraffe’s neck straightened out now, they seem to be quiet — and THEY’RE OFF!
“That’s Cheetah springing to the lead and accelerating quickly to 70 mph–a tremendous display of power. He’s already opened up five lengths on Mongolian Gazelle, followed by Ostrich and Gnu, head to feather. The Horse is running evenly in fifth place, waiting to make his bid. Next comes Greyhound, with the Hare and Fox lapped on him, and then it’s another half-length back to Warthog. Just behind Warthog are House Cat and Roadrunner, who seems to be having some traffic problems. As they approach the far turn, Gazelle is still stalking — Cheetah seems to be about out of gas, and the Gazelle has swept by him into the lead.
“Man is barely managing to stay ahead of a host of crawling creatures, neck and neck with Camel and just behind Giraffe and Bison. Sheep is right on Man’s heels, followed by Black Mamba and Black Racer snakes. Then it’s Weasel, Mouse, Mole and Porpoise, the longshots in the field. On the extreme outside comes Elephant, but his finishing charge won’t be enough. The Horse is closing fast up the middle of the track, straining to catch Gazelle. As they sweep across the finish line, it’s a photo finish between Gazelle and Horse, with Cheetah a fading third.”