During the athletics world championship a commentator mentioned casually during the marathon discipline that humans are faster on long distances than all animals.
I'm unsure if this can be said generally. Obviously some individuals cannot run, so consider the speed of the fastest individuals of each species.
Were there any scientific experiments performed to compare humans and animal? Alternatively, are there medical/bio-mechanic reasons upon which one can base this statement?
Update: As many complained about the seriousness of this claim i searched a bit more with keywords/thougts given in comments to strengthen this claim. A nature paper abstract says:
Here we assess how well humans perform at sustained long-distance running, and review the physiological and anatomical bases of endurance running capabilities in humans and other mammals. Judged by several criteria, humans perform remarkably well at endurance running, thanks to a diverse array of features, many of which leave traces in the skeleton. The fossil evidence of these features suggests that endurance running is a derived capability of the genus Homo, originating about 2 million years ago, and may have been instrumental in the evolution of the human body form.
So take this as a proof that this question is trickier than it looks. (I cannot quote more of the nature article as on the road and in front of paywall, someone can use data to round out his answer, would appreciate this). Here two other links giving some hints 1, 2
The main factor seems to be temperature (which i didnt know), which complicates a objective comparison of specific mammals. Standard ambient temperature is from my knowlegde around 25° C. It seems this a temperature where it gets tricky for horses and esp. sled dogs to keep up with our best marathon runners. On even longer distances likely even more. Probably a doubled maraton distance will already change the whole mammal endurance ranking. Would be interesting to see how desert/steppe animals like camel/antelope/cheetah do compared to dog/horse/human.