The greater roadrunner (Geococcyx californianus) gets its name from a habit of streaking like a pint-size racehorse down roadsides. A long-legged bird in the cuckoo family, it is a bird born to run – with speeds upward of 25 miles (40 kilometers) an hour it can outrace a human, kill a rattlesnake, and thrive in the harsh landscapes of the Desert Southwest. It is quick on the ground and will fly short distances to perch on branches, posts, and rocks, making it the fastest flying bird on the ground. The flightless ostrich is the fastest bird. The roadrunner's scientific name means "Californian earth-cuckoo". Along with the lesser roadrunner, it is one of two species in the genus Geococcyx.