Watch a falcon outrace skydivers from 10,000 feet

By Dave Molloy

The fastest animal on earth - three times faster than the cheetah - takes on free-falling skydivers in this clip, and it makes for incredible footage.

BBC's 'Ultimate Killers' series took journalist Steve Leonard to 10,000 feet on a hot air balloon, carrying a lure that Lady, a peregrine falcon, had been trained to hunt.

Then he jumps, equipped with a speedometer and topping 150mph in freefall - and watching the falcon catch them with ease is truly impressive stuff.

As the TV team admits, it's not a laboratory environment, but they calculate that Lady had to dive at over 180mph to reach them - which she did in seconds with little effort.

The peregrine falcon is well known for its high-speed dive, which scientists already know can reach over 200mph - and the highest recorded speed is a whopping 242mph - faster than the top speeds of modern Formula 1 cars.

Compare that to the fastest land animal - the cheetah, with its record of 75mph - and there's no competition.

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