The Fastest Reptiles In The World

The black mamba snake.
The black mamba snake.

The fastest reptiles do not match up to the speeds recorded by mammals as their speeds do not generally go over 25 miles/h. Lizard species take three spots of the top 5 fastest reptiles while the black mamba is the fastest snake and the leatherback turtle is the fastest turtle.

Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are eight lizard species classified in the genus Pogona. The lizard is distinguished by a ‘beard’ located at the throat’s underside which turns black upon seeing a potential rival or if the lizard is stressed. Bearded dragons are commonly seen in many parts of Australia where they inhabit Eucalyptus woodlands, deserts, savannas, and shrublands among other habitats. The males grow to a length of 24 inches while the females reach 20 inches. The bearded dragon is an adept climber and has a speed of 25miles/h.

Green Iguana

The green iguana is a lizard species classified in the genus Iguana. It is an indigenous species in the Caribbean and Central and South America. The animal’s color varies with the environment from blue, black, green, lavender, red, orange, to pink. It has an average length of 4.9 ft and a maximum length of 6.6 ft. Green iguanas have speeds of 25miles/h and are agile climbers. The animals inhabit regions near water bodies and are most active during the day.

Leatherback Turtle

The leatherback turtle belongs to the family Dermochelyidae, and it holds the title of the largest living turtle on earth. It falls behind three crocodilians to become the fourth-heaviest reptile. It is distinguished by the lack of a bony shell, but instead, oily flesh and skin make up its carapace. Leatherback turtles inhabit the open ocean, and they have been recorded in all tropical and subtropical oceans. The animals are one of the world’s fastest reptiles having been recorded moving at speeds of 22miles/h in water. The turtles typically swim between speeds of 1.2miles/h to 6.3miles/h.

Black Mamba

The black mamba is a reptile common in sub-Saharan Africa where it holds the title of the longest venomous snake species. The snake has a length of 6.6 ft to 9.8 ft although they can reach lengths of 14.1 to 14.8 ft. The black mamba lives in habitats ranging from woodlands, dense forests, rocky regions, and Savannah. The snake ambushes its prey which include bush babies and hyrax. It has been observed pursuing its prey at speeds of 14.3miles/h. It is easily the fastest snake species over suitable surfaces. The snake can strike at considerable range and is capable of delivering a rapid succession of bites.

Komodo Dragon

Komodo dragon is a lizard species native to the Indonesian Islands of Komodo, Padar, Flores, Motang, Rinca, and Gili. The lizard’s maximum length is 10 ft, which makes it the largest living lizard species. The Komodo dragon is an exceptional example of island gigantism. It has an average weight of 150 lb and a maximum weight of 201 lb. The dragon inhabits hot and arid regions and can reach speeds of 13miles/h. It can also dive up to 15 ft.

Importance Of Speed

Animals depend on swift movement for a number of activities. Speed enables reptiles to escape from predators as well as pursue prey and even find mates. For reptiles and other animals, running away or chasing prey is a matter of life and death.

Which Are The Fastest Reptiles In The World?

RankAnimalMaximum recorded speed (km/h)
1Bearded dragon40
2Green Iguana35
3Leatherback sea turtle35.28
4Black mamba23
5Komodo dragon21

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