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Terminal velocity

Nature's top gun, the peregrine falcon is desperate to feed her chicks and locks on to her target, a fast and agile pigeon. It's time to turn on the speed, so tucking in her wings, the female peregrine shoots towards earth. Her teardrop-shaped body is the height of aerodynamic design. Within seconds she has reached her terminal velocity of 200 miles per hour. Travelling at this speed, the force of air would explode her lungs, if it weren't for the baffles in her nostrils: a design so effective it is now used in jet engines. Nictitating membranes wipe her eyes to clear them of debris and stop them drying out. She prepares for impact, a manoeuvre that requires split-second timing, but the pigeon spots her and she misses her target - she simply can't compete with the speed of a pigeon on the flat.

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