Top 10 Fastest Animals
Updated: Feb 14
From the skies to the oceans, to the land, speed is a vital trait that allows animals to hunt, evade predators and survive. The pursuit of speed has led to the evolution of some of the most incredible animals on our planet. In this blog, we will be taking a look at the top 10 fastest animals, from birds and fish to mammals and reptiles. From the Peregrine Falcon diving at speeds of over 240 mph to the cheetah that can run at 75 mph, we will be discussing their unique characteristics, habitats, and behaviors that allow them to reach such incredible speeds. So, whether you're a science enthusiast or just a lover of all things fast and furious, join us as we explore the amazing world of the fastest animals on Earth.
1. Peregrine Falcon
The Peregrine Falcon is widely considered to be the fastest animal in the world. When diving to catch its prey, it can reach speeds of over 240 miles per hour (386 km/h). This is known as a stoop and is the fastest dive of any bird of prey. This speed allows it to catch other birds in mid-flight, making it a very effective hunter.
2. White Throated Needletail
The White-throated Needletail is a species of swift, it is known to be one of the fastest birds in level flight, reaching speeds of up to 69 miles per hour (111 km/h). The White-throated Needletail is a migratory bird that breeds in eastern Siberia and migrates to Southeast Asia and Australia. They are also known as Spine-tailed swift or Spine-tailed swift. It's a small bird with a short forked tail and a short beak, its body is mostly blackish-brown and white throat.
3. Frigate Bird
The Frigate bird is a large seabird species known for its aerial acrobatics, they can reach high speeds while in flight, with some estimates putting their top speed at around 95 miles per hour (153 km/h). The Frigate bird is known for its long, narrow wings and forked tail, which allow it to soar and glide effortlessly over the ocean. They are also known for their spectacular aerial displays, during which the males inflate their bright red gular sacs to attract females. Frigate birds are found in tropical and subtropical oceans worldwide, they feed mainly on fish and squid, but also on crustaceans and other small marine animals.
4. Golden Eagle
Golden eagle is a large bird of prey that is known to be a strong and fast flier. The Golden eagle can reach high speeds while in flight, with some estimates putting their top speed at around 150 mph (241 km/h) during its stoop, this is a dive where the bird drops vertically at high speeds to catch its prey. Golden Eagles are found in the northern hemisphere, in mountainous regions and are known for their powerful talons, sharp beak and keen eyesight which they use to hunt for small mammals, birds and reptiles. They are also known for their endurance, which allows them to cover vast distances while hunting or migrating. It is important to note that the golden eagle's top speed is not a sustained flight speed but a stoop speed only.
5. Black Marlin
The Black marlin is a species of billfish and is known to be one of the fastest swimmers in the ocean, it can swim at speeds of up to 82 mph (132 km/h). Black marlin are found in tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Ocean, they can grow to be quite large, with some individuals reaching up to 15 feet (4.6 m) in length and weigh as much as 1,500 pounds (680 kg). They are known for their powerful and streamlined body, which allows them to swim at such high speeds. They are also known for their long, pointed bill, which they use to slash at their prey. Black marlin typically feed on smaller fish and squid, but they have also been known to eat larger prey such as tuna and dolphinfish.
6. Sail Fish
Sailfish (Istiophorus platypterus) is a species of billfish and is known to be one of the fastest swimmers in the ocean, it can swim at speeds of up to 68 mph (110 km/h). Sailfish are found in warm and temperate waters of the Atlantic, Pacific and Indian Oceans. They are known for their long, narrow body and their large dorsal fin, which gives them their name. The dorsal fin, or sail, can be raised and lowered, and it is thought that this behavior is used to communicate with other sailfish or to intimidate their prey. Sailfish typically feed on smaller fish such as sardines and anchovies, but they have also been known to eat larger prey such as mackerel and tuna. They are also known for their acrobatic jumps, making them a popular game fish.
The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large cat species native to Africa and central Iran, it is known to be the fastest land animal, capable of reaching speeds of up to 75 mph (120 km/h) in short bursts. This allows them to catch their prey, which typically consists of small to medium-sized mammals such as gazelles, impalas, and springboks. To reach these high speeds, cheetahs have an aerodynamic body, with a small head, long legs, and a long tail that helps them balance while running. They also have large nostrils and an enlarged heart and lungs that allow them to take in more oxygen while running. Cheetahs are also known for their great acceleration, capable of reaching their top speeds in just a few seconds. Their speed allows them to chase down their prey quickly, but it also requires a lot of energy, so they need to rest after each chase.
8. Grizzly Bear
Grizzly bears (Ursus arctos horribilis) are large, powerful mammals that are found in North America, primarily in Alaska and western Canada. They are known for their strength and endurance, but they are not considered to be one of the fastest animals in the world. Grizzly bears are capable of running at speeds of up to 35 mph (56 km/h) for short distances, they can also swim at high speeds. However, they are not built for speed and running and chasing over longer distances is not their main advantage. They are primarily plant-eaters, but they also eat fish, insects, and small mammals. They are known to be strong and powerful animals that can be dangerous when they feel threatened. They are also known for their intelligence and adaptability, which allows them to survive in a wide range of environments.
Greyhounds are a breed of dog that are known for their speed and agility. They are considered to be one of the fastest dog breeds, and are capable of reaching speeds of up to 45 mph (72 km/h) in short bursts. They are built for speed, with a lean, athletic body and long legs that allow them to cover ground quickly. Greyhounds are also known for their endurance, which allows them to maintain their high speeds over long distances. This characteristic has made them popular racing dogs, and they have been bred specifically for this purpose for centuries. Greyhounds are also known for their grace and beauty, and make great pets for people who can provide them with enough exercise.
Lions (Panthera leo) are large cats that are known for their strength and power, but they are not considered to be one of the fastest animals in the world. They are capable of running at speeds of up to 50 mph (80 km/h) for short distances, but they are not able to maintain this speed for long. They are built for strength and power, not for speed, and are able to take down large prey such as buffalo, zebras, and giraffes. Lions are apex predators and are known for their hunting skills, they are excellent at stalking and ambush hunting, where they use their stealth and power to take down their prey. They are also known for their social behavior, living in groups called prides that can consist of several females and their cubs, and one or more males.