World Facts

The Fastest Animals in the World

A look at the world's 15 fastest animals on land, in water, and in the air.

How fast can a human being run? Research shows that human beings can run as fast as 40 mph but the sprint speed is approximately 13 mph. However, 13mph sprint is not sufficient to win a race with some of the fastest animals in the world. In the wild, speed is essential for survival. A predator must run faster than its prey or it dies of hunger and the prey must run faster than the predator or it becomes a meal. The slowest animals have to be smart enough to outwit their predators. Here are some of the fastest animals in the world

Some of the Fastest Animals

Peregrine Falcon

Birds have an advantage when it comes to speed for obvious reasons. The Peregrine falcon is the fastest member of the animal kingdom and the fastest aerial animal. It is capable of attaining a speed of up to 389 km/h while stooping. It often soars to a great height then dive steeply towards the prey. Most of the time, the Peregrine falcon does not fly this fast. Their long pointed wings with powerful muscles give them great speed.

Golden Eagle

The golden eagle is the largest bird of prey in North America. It has a wingspan of approximately 6-8 feet which is almost double its body size and can weigh up to 7 kilograms. It can soar in the air for long while looking for the prey. The golden eagle has a great vision and can spot its prey at an altitude of 10,000 feet. Once the prey is spotted, the golden eagle will dive upon it with the great and astonishing speed of up to 320 km/h.

White-throated Needletail Swift

For many years, scientists held white-throated needletail swift as the fastest-flying bird in the world at a flight speed of up to 169 km/h. However, it is not the fastest aerial bird but the fastest bird in flapping flight. The White-throated needletail swift has a long curved wing and powerful muscles that helps it to achieve the exceptional speed in flight.

Black Marlin

Black Marlin is the fastest fish in the world and can swim faster than a cheetah can run. It is able to attain a speed an amazing speed of 129 km/h which is the estimated speed at which it can stripe line off a reel. It can also dive to a depth of over 2,000 feet. Black Marlins are often sought after for sport because of their size and speed.

Cheetah

Cheetahs are the fastest land animals in the world and are able to reach a speed of up to 121 km/h. it can maintain the maximum speed for 500 meters and can accelerate from 0 to 110 km/h in less than five seconds. They can also turn mid-air while sprinting, making it difficult for the prey to outrun them by changing direction. While sprinting, the long muscular tail helps it to balance and steer.

Challenges of Measuring Animal Speed

According to the new modern methods, humans can predict the speed of animals with almost 90% accuracy. It is not easy to measure how fast different animals run, partly because most of the animals are wild and partly because of the varying speed between individuals. Wildlife speed cameras are commonly used to measure the speed of animals but sometimes the animal may disappear from the vicinity of the camera.

The Fastest Animals in the World

Rank´╗┐AnimalMaximum Speed (Km/Hour) Method
1Peregrine Falcon389Flying
2Golden Eagle320Flying
3White-Throated Needletail Swift169Flying
4Mexican Free-Tailed Bat160Flying
5Eurasian Hobby160Flying
6Frigatebird 153Flying
7Rock Dove148.9Flying
8Horsefly 145Flying
9Spur-Winged Goose142Flying
10Black Marlin129Swimming
11Red-Breasted Merganser 129Flying
12Gyrfalcon128Flying
13Grey-Headed Albatross127Flying
14Cheetah120.7Running
15Sailfish109.19Swimming

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