The world's largest land mammal could help us end cancer. The fastest bird is showing us how to solve a century-old engineering mystery. The oldest tree is giving us insights into climate change. The loudest whale is offering clues about the impact of solar storms.
For a long time, scientists ignored superlative life forms as outliers. Increasingly, though, researchers are coming to see great value in studying plants and animals that exist on the outermost edges of the bell curve.