The greater roadrunner is so quick, one of the few things that precede it is its reputation.
The bird, which can run up to 17 miles an hour, is a beloved symbol of the American Southwest and the inspiration for Road Runner, a popular Looney Tunes cartoon character.
The reason for their swiftness is simple: Roadrunners aren’t great flyers, due to their relatively heavy bodies, and will only take flight when going downhill or escaping an imminent attack.
The largest bird in the cuckoo family, greater roadrunners have a bare blue-and-orange skin patch behind the eyes, which is usually covered by feathers unless the bird is agitated. Roadrunners also sport a shaggy head crest that the animals can raise