The animal kingdom is full of amazing creatures, each with its own unique abilities. Some animals are known for their strength, others for their intelligence, and still others for their speed. The 10 fastest animals in the world are truly remarkable, each capable of reaching incredible speeds.
1. Peregrine Falcon
The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest animal in the world, capable of reaching speeds of up to 242 miles per hour (389 kilometers per hour) when in its hunting dive, the stoop. This dive is a steep plunge from a high altitude that allows the falcon to catch its prey at incredible speeds. Peregrine Falcons are found on all continents except Antarctica and are known for their powerful wings and sharp talons.
The Sailfish is the fastest fish in the world, capable of reaching speeds of up to 68 miles per hour (109 kilometers per hour). This incredible speed is made possible by the sailfish’s long, slender body and its large, sail-like fin. The sailfish uses its fin to propel itself through the water and can reach its top speed in just a few seconds.
The Cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world, capable of reaching speeds of up to 75 miles per hour (120 kilometers per hour). This incredible speed is made possible by the cheetah’s long, flexible spine, powerful legs, and large heart. Standing at about 30 inches tall at the shoulder and weighing between 110 and 140 pounds, they have long, graceful legs; a small, rounded head on a long neck; a very flexible spine; a deep chest; special pads on their feet that help with traction; and a long tail that is used for balance at top speed. Cheetahs are found in Africa and parts of the Middle East and are known for their short bursts of speed, which they use to chase down prey.
The Pronghorn is the second fastest land animal in North America, capable of reaching speeds of up to 55 miles per hour (88 kilometers per hour). This incredible speed is made possible by the pronghorn’s long, slender legs and its large, air-filled hooves. Pronghorns are found in the western United States and Mexico and are known for their ability to run long distances at high speeds.
5. Spur-winged Goose
The Spur-winged Goose is the fastest flying bird in the world, capable of reaching speeds of up to 77 miles per hour (124 kilometers per hour). This incredible speed is made possible by the spur-winged goose’s powerful wings and its light, streamlined body. Spur-winged geese are found in Africa and are known for their long migrations.
6. White-throated Needletail
The White-throated Needletail is the fastest flying bird in the world in horizontal flight, capable of reaching speeds of up to 220 miles per hour (354 kilometers per hour). This incredible speed is made possible by the white-throated needletail’s long, narrow wings and its powerful tail. White-throated needletails are found in Southeast Asia and are known for their long migrations.
The Frigatebird is one of the largest flying birds in the world, with a wingspan of up to 11 feet (3.3 meters). This incredible wingspan allows the frigatebird to soar for long periods of time without flapping its wings. Frigatebirds are found in tropical and subtropical regions around the world and are known for their ability to steal food from other birds.
Springboks capable of reaching speeds of up to 88 km (55 miles) per hour, the Springbok is a medium-sized gazelle that is native to southern Africa. Springboks are known for their incredible jumping ability, which they use to escape predators. They can leap up to 13 feet (4 meters) in the air and can run long distances at high speeds.
Marlins are among the fastest marine swimmers. They are also known for their incredible speed, which can reach up to 50 miles per hour. However, greatly exaggerated speeds are often claimed in popular literature, based on unreliable or outdated reports. The Marlin is a large, predatory fish that is found in all of the world’s oceans. Marlins are known for their long, spear-like bills, which they use to catch prey.
10. Blue Wildebeest
The Blue Wildebeest, Springbok and Thompson’s gazelle can all run at about 80kph (50mph) which almost exactly matches the top speed of a lion.