We get in the car and off we go. Jump on a bike and zoom over to a friend’s house. Or glide along the sidewalk on a pair of roller blades or a skateboard. But did you know our furry and feathered friends could be considered a vehicle as well?
Dogs have been used for years as a means of travelling on snow and ice. Places like Alaska and Siberia where it’s near impossible to walk or take a car a dog sled team is ready to go. A team can range anywhere from 6 to 12 dogs harnessed together with a sleigh attached. This sled has no wheels. Only runners, or sometimes a toboggan, is used. One or two people ride on the back of the sled which is packed with supplies or hunting equipment. Once they get going, these paw-powered canines can reach speeds up to 23 km per hour and travel anywhere from 8 to 129 km a day. Plus, they never run out of gas.
Everyday we get mail delivered to us by a person, but back before this was possible pigeons were used. This was called “pigeon post” and was essential in World War I and World War II to transport urgent messages across enemy lines.
How did they do this?
Pigeons were trained to live in one place and eat in another and would fly back and forth – up to 160 km per day. The message was attached to their leg in a small canister. Once the bird was released into the air it would immediately head for home. After the message was delivered the bird would either stay or set out with a return note.
Why? The Llama is extremely smart, agile, and strong. It has two large toes on each foot making it more sure-footed and sensitive to the ground than hoofed animals. Llamas can also go for long periods of time without water making them perfect for traveling. I guess that’s why they were called the “ships of the Andes.”
Camels were also used by desert dwellers to transport items. In fact, the camel can carry up to 900 pounds on its back. Today these bumpy animals are still used for giving tourists rides and for racing.
What other animals can you think of that are used for transportation?