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When we talk about fast animals, the one that immediately comes to mind for most people is the cheetah, who can reach 70 mph when sprinting. But that’s not even close to the peregrine falcon’s diving speed of up to 242 mph! Flying to great heights, the peregrine falcon reaches top speed performing a maneuver called the stoop: an incredibly fast, steep angled descent designed to surprise prey and hit with incredible impact. Moving so fast isn’t easy on the lungs, but the peregrine falcon has evolved bony tubercles in its nostrils that help divert airflow way from the nostrils and better manage changes in air pressure.
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