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The Olympic games are an inspiring spectacle of talent, with the best athletes in the world setting benchmarks for human potential and physical endurance.

Whilst we may marvel at their prowess, they should feel lucky they don't have to compete with the champions of the animal kingdom, who perform physical feats of Olympic proportions every day in order to ensure their survival in the greatest game of all: the competition of life.

Who are the champions of the animal kingdom? Find out by downloading our full story PDF, including text, here.

Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) running, Kenya (non-ex)  -  Andy Rouse
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Andy Rouse / Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) running, Kenya (non-ex)
Male Pronghorn antelope running {Antilocapra americana} Hart mtn NWR, Oregon, USA. The proghorn has a maximum speed of 55mph but can also cruise at 40mph for as long as 30 minutes; the animal equivale...  -  Michael Durham
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Michael Durham / Male Pronghorn antelope running {Antilocapra americana} Hart mtn NWR, Oregon, USA. The proghorn has a maximum speed of 55mph but can also cruise at 40mph for as long as 30 minutes; the animal equivale...
Male African lion {Panthera leo} trotting across his territory to see of an intruder, Masai Mara GR, Kenya. Lions can run at speeds of 50mph!  -  Anup Shah
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Anup Shah / Male African lion {Panthera leo} trotting across his territory to see of an intruder, Masai Mara GR, Kenya. Lions can run at speeds of 50mph!
Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Botswana  -  Richard Du Toit
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Richard Du Toit / Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) Kgalagadi Transfrontier Park, Botswana
Male Thomson's Gazelle (Gazella thomsoni) running - panned effect. Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. March  -  Anup Shah
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Anup Shah / Male Thomson's Gazelle (Gazella thomsoni) running - panned effect. Masai Mara National Reserve, Kenya. March
Male Common wildebeest (Connochaetus taurinus) running, Masai Mara, Kenya  -  Andy Rouse
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Andy Rouse / Male Common wildebeest (Connochaetus taurinus) running, Masai Mara, Kenya
Male Ostrich (Struthio camelus massaicus) running, Kenya.,  -  Klein & Hubert
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Klein & Hubert / Male Ostrich (Struthio camelus massaicus) running, Kenya.,
Mountain hare (Lepus timidus) in winter coat, running up a snow-covered slope, Scotland, UK, February. Did you know? Mountain hares'  feet act like snowshoes, spreading out the animal's weight over th...  -  Mark Hamblin / 2020VISION
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Mark Hamblin / 2020VISION / Mountain hare (Lepus timidus) in winter coat, running up a snow-covered slope, Scotland, UK, February. Did you know? Mountain hares' feet act like snowshoes, spreading out the animal's weight over th...
Atlantic sailfish (Istiophorus albicans), feeding, with sardine caught in mouth. Some consider this to be the same species as the Indo-Pacific Sailfish (I. platypterus). Mexico, Gulf of Mexico.  -  Brandon Cole
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Brandon Cole / Atlantic sailfish (Istiophorus albicans), feeding, with sardine caught in mouth. Some consider this to be the same species as the Indo-Pacific Sailfish (I. platypterus). Mexico, Gulf of Mexico.
Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) portrait, captive, Malta, Mediteranean, May 2009  WWE BOOK  -  Wild Wonders of Europe / Zankl
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Wild Wonders of Europe / Zankl / Atlantic bluefin tuna (Thunnus thynnus) portrait, captive, Malta, Mediteranean, May 2009 WWE BOOK
Mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) Cape Point, South Africa  -  Chris & Monique Fallows
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Chris & Monique Fallows / Mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) Cape Point, South Africa
Indo Pacific Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus), Isla Mujeres, Mexico.  -  Chris & Monique Fallows
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Chris & Monique Fallows / Indo Pacific Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus), Isla Mujeres, Mexico.
Giant Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares), Mexico, Pacific Ocean.  -  Jeff Rotman
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Jeff Rotman / Giant Yellowfin Tuna (Thunnus albacares), Mexico, Pacific Ocean.
Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) surfing, jumping out of the sea, Falkland Islands  -  Andy Rouse
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Andy Rouse / Gentoo penguin (Pygoscelis papua) surfing, jumping out of the sea, Falkland Islands
Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) hunting Alpine Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus). Pyrenees, Aragon, Spain.  -  Angelo Gandolfi
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Angelo Gandolfi / Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus) hunting Alpine Chough (Pyrrhocorax graculus). Pyrenees, Aragon, Spain.
Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) juvenile female aged about 6-11 years, Endangered Species, Commonwealth of Dominica, Caribbean, March  -  Doug Perrine
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Doug Perrine / Sperm whale (Physeter macrocephalus) juvenile female aged about 6-11 years, Endangered Species, Commonwealth of Dominica, Caribbean, March
Northern elephant seal underwater breathing out at sea surface, off Mexico, Central America  -  DOC WHITE
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DOC WHITE / Northern elephant seal underwater breathing out at sea surface, off Mexico, Central America
Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) underwater.  -  Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Leatherback turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) underwater.
Emperor penguins diving {Aptenodytes forsteri} Antarctica. Emperor penguins are the bird diving champions and can acheive a depth of 500m. Humans can only descend 150m before the water pressure collap...  -  Doug Allan
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Doug Allan / Emperor penguins diving {Aptenodytes forsteri} Antarctica. Emperor penguins are the bird diving champions and can acheive a depth of 500m. Humans can only descend 150m before the water pressure collap...
African sharp-nosed frog {Rana mascareniensis}  jumping, underside view, controlled conditions, from Africa  -  Stephen Dalton
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Stephen Dalton / African sharp-nosed frog {Rana mascareniensis} jumping, underside view, controlled conditions, from Africa
Jumping spider (Plexippus paykulli) leaping onto fly prey, Crete  -  Stephen Dalton
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Stephen Dalton / Jumping spider (Plexippus paykulli) leaping onto fly prey, Crete
Meadow grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus) leaping, UK  -  Stephen Dalton
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Stephen Dalton / Meadow grasshopper (Chorthippus parallelus) leaping, UK
Banner-tailed kangaroo rat {Dipodomys spectabilis} outside its den, captive, Southern Arizona, USA.  -  Mary McDonald
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Mary McDonald / Banner-tailed kangaroo rat {Dipodomys spectabilis} outside its den, captive, Southern Arizona, USA.
Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) bounding, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, September  -  Dave Watts
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Dave Watts / Eastern grey kangaroo (Macropus giganteus) bounding, Australian Capital Territory, Australia, September
Impala (Aepyceros melampus) male jumping during rut. Masai Mara, Kenya, Africa.  -  Andy Rouse
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Andy Rouse / Impala (Aepyceros melampus) male jumping during rut. Masai Mara, Kenya, Africa.
Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) bounding through snow, captive, USA  -  Andy Rouse
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Andy Rouse / Snow leopard (Panthera uncia) bounding through snow, captive, USA
Cat flea {Ctenocephalides felis} leaping sequence, multiflash image  -  Stephen Dalton
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Stephen Dalton / Cat flea {Ctenocephalides felis} leaping sequence, multiflash image
Cat flea {Ctenocephalides felis} jumping from cat fur, UK  -  Stephen Dalton
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Stephen Dalton / Cat flea {Ctenocephalides felis} jumping from cat fur, UK
Black and red froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata) in mid-hop. England, UK  -  Stephen Dalton
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Stephen Dalton / Black and red froghopper (Cercopis vulnerata) in mid-hop. England, UK
Klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus) in mid leap, Karoo, South Africa, February  -  Ben Hall
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Ben Hall / Klipspringer (Oreotragus oreotragus) in mid leap, Karoo, South Africa, February
Bottlenosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) jumping, Caribbean (non-ex). Exclusive jigsaw puzzle rights worldwide sold until 31.12.2014.  -  Andy Rouse
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Andy Rouse / Bottlenosed dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) jumping, Caribbean (non-ex). Exclusive jigsaw puzzle rights worldwide sold until 31.12.2014.
Cougar / Mountain Lion / Puma {Felis concolor}~running in snow, captive, Montana, USA. Pumas can jump 4.6m high!  -  Dave Watts
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Dave Watts / Cougar / Mountain Lion / Puma {Felis concolor}~running in snow, captive, Montana, USA. Pumas can jump 4.6m high!
Salmon leaping up waterfall, swimming upstream to spawn, Alaska, USA, September  -  Shattil & Rozinski
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Shattil & Rozinski / Salmon leaping up waterfall, swimming upstream to spawn, Alaska, USA, September
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Dung Beetle (Scarabaeinae) adult rolling dung ball. Laredo, Webb County, South Texas, USA Not available for ringtone/wallpaper use.  -  Rolf Nussbaumer
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Rolf Nussbaumer / Dung Beetle (Scarabaeinae) adult rolling dung ball. Laredo, Webb County, South Texas, USA Not available for ringtone/wallpaper use.
Hercules Scarab Beetles (Dynastes hercules) fighting, Venezuela  -  Nature Production
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Nature Production / Hercules Scarab Beetles (Dynastes hercules) fighting, Venezuela
Leaf cutter ant (Atta sp) female worker carrying leaf to nest, with a smaller 'minor' ant riding. The minor's job is to protect her sister from parasitic flies. Costa Rica, December. Highly Commended,...  -  Bence Mate
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Bence Mate / Leaf cutter ant (Atta sp) female worker carrying leaf to nest, with a smaller 'minor' ant riding. The minor's job is to protect her sister from parasitic flies. Costa Rica, December. Highly Commended,...
African elephant (Loxodonta africana) with trunk raised, Etosha National Park, Namibia, June  Not available for ringtone/wallpaper use.  -  Tony Heald
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Tony Heald / African elephant (Loxodonta africana) with trunk raised, Etosha National Park, Namibia, June Not available for ringtone/wallpaper use.
Mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei) silverback beating chest and charging, Susa group, Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda Not available for ringtone/wallpaper use.  -  Andy Rouse
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Andy Rouse / Mountain gorilla (Gorilla beringei) silverback beating chest and charging, Susa group, Parc National des Volcans, Rwanda Not available for ringtone/wallpaper use.
Crowned hawk eagle, Zimbabwe. Captive bird  -  Neil Lucas
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Neil Lucas / Crowned hawk eagle, Zimbabwe. Captive bird
Swift (Apus apus) in flight. Helsinki, Finland. July  -  Markus Varesvuo
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Markus Varesvuo / Swift (Apus apus) in flight. Helsinki, Finland. July
Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) adult hovering directly in front of the sun, defending nest from perceived threat, Farne Islands, UK.~June  -  Andrew Parkinson
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Andrew Parkinson / Arctic tern (Sterna paradisaea) adult hovering directly in front of the sun, defending nest from perceived threat, Farne Islands, UK.~June
Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica), adult with summer plumage in flight. Norway, Scandinavia. June.  -  Markus Varesvuo
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Markus Varesvuo / Bar-tailed Godwit (Limosa lapponica), adult with summer plumage in flight. Norway, Scandinavia. June.
Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) swimming, Indo-pacific.  -  Jurgen Freund
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Jurgen Freund / Leatherback sea turtle (Dermochelys coriacea) swimming, Indo-pacific.
Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) underwater, Guadalupe Island, Mexico (North Pacific)  -  Mark Carwardine
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Mark Carwardine / Great white shark (Carcharodon carcharias) underwater, Guadalupe Island, Mexico (North Pacific)
Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) female in flight. Did you know? Monarch buttterflies migrate up to 2500 miles from Mexico to Canada.  -  Stephen Dalton
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Stephen Dalton / Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) female in flight. Did you know? Monarch buttterflies migrate up to 2500 miles from Mexico to Canada.
Smasher Mantis Shrimp (Lysiosquilla sulcirostris) Lembeh Straits, Sulawesi, Indonesia  -  Solvin Zankl
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Solvin Zankl / Smasher Mantis Shrimp (Lysiosquilla sulcirostris) Lembeh Straits, Sulawesi, Indonesia
Japanese Horned / Rhinoceros Beetle {Allomyrina dichotomus} and Saw Stag Beetle {Prosopocoilus inclinatus inclinatus} fighting, captive, Japan  -  Nature Production
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Nature Production / Japanese Horned / Rhinoceros Beetle {Allomyrina dichotomus} and Saw Stag Beetle {Prosopocoilus inclinatus inclinatus} fighting, captive, Japan
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