Veterinary Record 171:87-94 doi:10.1136/vr.e4966
  • Feature
  • Comparative Physiology

Animal athletes: a performance review

  1. N. C. Craig Sharp
  1. Centre for Sports BVMS, PhD, DSc, FIBiol, FBASES, FPEAUK, MRCVS, Medicine and Human Performance, Brunel University, London UB8 3PH, UK
  1. e-mail: c.sharp90{at}

Major sporting events such as the Olympic Games highlight extraordinary human athletic achievements, performed by the extreme physical outliers of our species. However, there is a range of animal performance that goes far beyond these, both in the wild and in selectively bred ‘sports animals’ such as the racehorse, racing camel, greyhound, sled-dog and racing pigeon. In this selective review, Craig Sharp assesses how human beings measure up in the animal athletic stakes.

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