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ntertainer roy Castle The tortoise and the fur; Marion McMullen looks at some of the record breakers of the animal kingdom as new champions are revealed by Guinness World Records.

ENTERTAINER Roy Castle celebrated the unusual, the amazing and the downright odd in TV's Record Breakers.

He started presenting the BBC children's show in 1972 and set nine world records himself. His time for the fastest tap dance - 1,440 taps per minute set in 1973 - has never been beaten.

But even Roy would have been impressed by some of the highachievers in the animal kingdom. American bloodhound Trigger has held the record for the longest ears on a dog since 2004. The right and left lug holes of the hound, from Illinois, measured 13.75 inches and 13.5 inches respectively.

While the tallest dog ever is an American Great Dane called Zeus. Owned by Michigan resident Denise Doorlag and her family, he was measured at 44 inches tall in 2011.

A rampaging reptile and a coordinated canine have now made their way into the new Guinness World Records 2016 book. There is also a goalkeeping pup and the furriest rabbit around. Some of them have beaten records which have stood for decades.

Blosom the cow was due to be the star of the new edition, but unfortunately passed away a few months ago. She is still named posthumously though as the tallest cow in the world. Owned by Patricia Meads-Hanson, of Illionois, Blosom measured 74.8 inches from hoof to the withers.

The world's shortest cow is called Manikyam and is owned by Akshay N.V. in India. She measures just 24.07 inches from hoof to the withers.

The hotly contested widest horn spread on a steer category caused a stir at the world records headquarters.

Texas Longhorn Big Red 907 had claimed the crown and was all set for a starring role in the book when news of an American speckled steer from Kansas broke just days before the 2016 edition went to print.

The horns on Lazy J's Bluegrass measure 5.7cm longer than Big Red's and, at a whopping 293.8cm (nearly 10ft). It earned him the title and a shared spot in the record books.

When it comes to canine stars, beagle Purin is hard to beat. He holds the record for the most balls caught by a dog with the paws in one minute. Nine-year-old Purin achieved 14 catches in March. The pooch, whose Japanese owner is Makoto Kumagai, broke her own previous record of 11.

The multi-talented beagle can also skateboard, walk on two legs, enjoys rope skipping and has many other impressive skills.

Makoto has owned Purin since she was born and says of her beloved pet: "Purin is calm, happy and always eager to play. She's scared around larger dogs, but since she lives with a cat, is more comfortable with animals her own size."

If you are looking for the ahhh factor then the longest fur on a rabbit is 14.37 inches and belongs to a two-year-old English Angora rabbit called Franchesca, from California.

Owner Dr Betty Chu is an expert on the English Agora, which is often mistaken for a Pekingese dog and needs a great deal of grooming and care.

A multiple Best in Show winner, Franchesca gets plenty of attention from onlookers and her owner says common questions she hears when people see her pet are: "Is there really a rabbit inside?' and 'How do you make it so fluffy?'" Franchesca is now a mother to four beautiful bunnies that look just like her.

Guinness World Records Editor-in-Chief Craig Glenday says: "Pet records are some of the most popular Guinness World Records titles and readers can't wait to see all the jaw-dropping new animal exploits year after year."

The book was first published in 1955 and more than 134 million copies have been sold in more than 100 countries since then. The Guinness World Records YouTube channel receives more than 300 million views a year.

Even the most unlikely animals can find themselves record breakers and tortoise Bertie set a new speed record back in July when he broke a record which has stood since 1977.

He achieved the greatest speed by a tortoise by reaching 0.6 mph at Adventure Valley, Durham, in July this year. While Olympic gold medallist Usain Bolt enjoys tucking into chicken nuggets before a big race, Bertie just needs his favourite snack of strawberries.

Twice as fast as the average tortoise, at his current speed, Bertie could clock 100m in six minutes.

His pacy moves were brought to owners Marco and Janine Calzini's attention when visitors to Adventure Valley commented on the speedy Bertie.

Since setting the new speed benchmark, Marco says: "Bertie now lives in a luxury enclosure with his girlfriend Shelly and his Guinness World Records certificate proudly displayed on the wall."

The Guinness World Records |2016 edition is now out. PS20 RRP.

CAPTION(S):

Left, Zeus - tallest male dog 2013 and Bertie the speedy tortoise who has made it into the 2016 records

Blosom was tallest cow in 2014

Big Red 907, a Texas Longhorn was hailed as having the largest horn spread on a domestic living steer - only to be pipped at the last moment by Lazy J's Bluegrass,

Purin, a nine-yearold female beagle, holds the record for the most balls caught by a dog with the paws in one minute

Franchesca, an Angora, is in the 2016 Guinness World Records book for the longest fur on a rabbit
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Title Annotation:Features
Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Sep 19, 2015
Words:895
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