All animal species have some particular characteristic that makes them unique. Different characteristics make animals adaptable to their unique habitats. Some animals such as the cheetah have the unique quality to run fast, while at the same time others are slow. Although it may seem strange, being slow has its own benefits. Below are some of the world's slowest animals.
Corals are the slowest moving Anthozoa as they in fact do not move at all. Corals are invertebrates that primarily live in marine habitats existing as compact colonies of genetically identical polyps. Coral reefs reproduce asexually but also breed sexually through spawning. Coral reefs are also responsible for providing food and shelter for the other marine species. Therefore corals play a significant and crucial role in the marine biodiversity.
Moving at a speed of only 0.000023 m/s, the banana slug is regarded as the slowest moving animal in the world. Banana slug (Ariolimax columbianus) is a common name given to the three species of North American terrestrial slug in the Ariolimax genus. Banana slugs are mostly yellow in color, and some have brown spots resembling a ripe banana. Some banana slugs may also be tan, brown, white or greenish. Different slugs change colors depending on moisture levels, light exposure, and food consumption. Different colors in slugs also help indicate the age of the slug or whether it is injured or healthy.
The dwarf seahorse (Hippocampus zosterae) is a special type of seahorse species found close to the shores of the Bahamas and other regions of the US. The dwarf seahorse is the world's slowest moving fish, swimming at about 0.01mph. Dwarf seahorses tend to stay in a unique place, for that reason the species is mostly threatened by habitat loss. Unlike most of the other fish, the dwarf seahorse is monogamous and mates for life. The dwarf seahorse is rare and is among the only species of animals on earth where the male bear the offspring.
Giant Galapagos Tortoise
The Galapagos tortoise (Chelonoidis nigra), also known as the giant tortoise, is the longest living vertebrate. At present, giant tortoise only exists on two remote archipelagos - one in Aldabra about 435 miles east of Tanzania and the other in West Ecuador. The Galapagos tortoise is the slowest reptile, moving as slow as 0.23 miles per hour on land and only slightly faster in water. The giant tortoises have a heavy body with a weight of up to 770 pounds causing the animal to move at a much slower pace. The heavy shells together with the animal's thick legs also play a significant role in the giant's tortoise's slow movement.
American woodcock (Scolopax minor) is a bird species of a small chunky shorebird mainly found in North America's eastern region. The bird spends most of its time superbly camouflaged on the ground against the leaf litter especially along the floor of young forest habitats. Urban development and forest maturation resulting in habitat loss are attributed to the decrease in population of the bird species. The American woodcock is the slowest moving bird in the world flying at 5mph without stalling during courtship displays.