When we think of the fastest animals in the world, authentic sprinters from the animal kingdom come to mind , such as the cheetah, the shark and the falcon, which manage to reach great speed in a few seconds. However, there are other lesser known ones that will surprise you. Do not miss this list of the 25 fastest animals in the world.
- You can also read: The 8 most dangerous animals in Spain.
The fastest animals in the world (terrestrial)
In addition to some relentless predators that have made speed their great weapon, there are some reptiles, insects and invertebrates whose speed will surprise you. 1. Tiger beetle
Have you ever seen a tiger beetle run
? It’s amazing. As small and harmless as it may seem, this species of beetle is a voracious predator (hence the nickname tiger) that uses its sharp teeth and amazing speed as weapons.
They feed on insects and worms, and can reach such speed that they have to stop a few centimeters away because their vision is blurred. They reach up to around 10 kilometers per hour, which due to the size of their body corresponds to 400 for a human.
- The tiger beetle runs at a speed of 400 kilometers per hour for a human.
Of the land mammals, the cheetah is undoubtedly the fastest animal, but the most surprising thing about it is its acceleration speed: it manages to reach 114 kilometers per hour in ten seconds . As with many of these animals, his attack has to be very precise, because after a few seconds he has to stop the race.
Its anatomy is made for the race, because the large size of its heart allows it to pump more blood than other felines, its lungs and nostrils are larger to absorb more oxygen, and its claws are not retractable, which facilitates traction. .
- The cheetah reaches a speed of 114 kilometers per hour .
3. Thomson Gazelle
Its agility, speed and elegance have allowed it to adapt to the terrestrial environment and escape from predator attacks. The Thomson Gazelle is not only capable of running at 80 kilometers per hour , which is a lot for a land mammal, but she is also a cunning strategist, as she misleads her pursuer and warns the herd with continuous jumps.
The anatomical perfection of these animals reaches their color, because through dark spots on their body they blur their outline to camouflage themselves in arid environments.
- The Thomson Gazelle can run at 80 kilometers per hour .
4. Pronghorn This strange combination of antelope and deer that lives in North America can reach up to 100 kilometers per hour and has the particularity that, in addition to speed, it has amazing resistance.
A pronghorn thus maintain a high speed for about two hours . In fact, they have so much energy that they often run for fun.
- The pronghorn reaches a speed of 100 kilometers per hour .
The ostrich is a running bird, the largest and heaviest, which has nevertheless developed great agility in the race. Although they do not fly, they keep two small wings that they move when running to reach up to 90 kilometers per hour .
When threatened, the ostrich runs away at high speed thanks to its muscular legs and flapping its wings as a deterrent, but if cornered, then it uses its powerful claws.
- The speed of the ostrich is up to 90 kilometers per hour .
Similar to the pronghorn and with the same morphology, the antelope is a large bovid that feeds on grass and has a peaceful character. However, when threatened, they can reach 70 kilometers per hour .
In addition to the speed of traction, thanks to robust legs with strong muscles, antelopes have a long stride that allows them to cover great distances in a few seconds.
- The antelope has a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour .
7. Hare European hares reach speeds of more than 60 kilometers per hour thanks to a perfected traction system consisting of propelling themselves with their front legs while the rear ones pass in front and support each other to double the momentum.
Within the classes of hare that exist, the Hare hare is the fastest, even reaching 70 kilometers for another.
- Hares run at a speed of between 60 and 70 kilometers per hour .
8. The basilisk lizard
It is considered the fastest reptile in the world and has the extraordinary ability to walk on top of the water without sinking, precisely thanks to its speed. Its secret is in the lobes of its hind legs that, when unfolded, act as fins.
This is a very useful ability, because when it goes by land it rolls up its lobes and, feeling chased, it walks quickly until it reaches the water where it spreads its fins and can continue running. It measures 80 centimeters and in the race it can reach two meters per second .
- The basilisk lizard reaches two meters per second in the race .
No one would say, right?
Well, the worm is the fastest legless invertebrate animal on the face of the earth. The special structure of its body, made up of rings that stretch and contract , allows it to reach speeds of 16 kilometers per hour, quite a feat for a living being without legs and without a skeleton.
- Maximum speed of the worms: 16 kilometers per hour .
The fastest animals in the world (marine)
In the water, the shark is the fastest and most fearsome animal, but along with it there are other lesser known species that reach great speeds. These are the fastest ocean animals in the entire world. 10. Serrano Duck
One of the great unknown sprinters in the water is the serrucho duck, which lives in aquatic habitats in South America and survives attacks with a distrustful character that makes it dive when it notices danger, and a speed of up to 160 kilometers per hour .
The serrucho patro has developed a cunning strategy to avoid being hunted: it perches on the rocks attentive to what is happening around it, and at the slightest threat it dives into the water and flees at high speed. However, there is a predator that he has not been able to avoid, man, and right now he is in danger of extinction .
- The Wood Duck can swim at 160 kilometers per hour .
11. Mako Shark
This species of short-finned shark has two characteristics that make it special: it is present in a large number of seas, such as the Mediterranean, and according to recent tests it is the fastest animal in the ocean with a top speed of 124 kilometers per hour .
To reach such a point, this kind of shark has a robust musculature and a sophisticated hydrodynamic system based on a semicircular fin of the homeothermic type that allows it to accumulate more body energy.
- The Mako shark reaches 124 kilometers per hour .
It is called that precisely because of its sail-shaped fin that, like in boats, has an acceleration function. It lives in the great oceans of the world (Atlantic, Pacific and Indian) and reaches 119 kilometers per hour in short distances .
It does this thanks to the shape of its dorsal fin, which cuts the air like a propeller, and a rigid semicircular tail that gives it aerodynamic power. The sharp sword-shaped snout completes its hunting arsenal.
- The average speed of the sailfish is 119 kilometers per hour .
This is a very unknown species that lives in tropical waters: in the Caribbean and some Central American seas it is known as wahoo. It is an animal of great length but not at all corpulent , rather thin, which gives it a special agility.
It is among the fastest marine species, reaching about 90 kilometers per hour.
It has another very interesting peculiarity: the coloration of its scales, with silver stripes, on that long and thin body, make it merge with the water when swimming at such speed . It literally becomes unnoticeable.
- The Guaju reaches 90 kilometers per hour .
tuna The speed that the bluefin tuna reaches, one of the highest in the aquatic world, has special merit if we take into account that it weighs from 400 to 700 kilos. Its powerful muscles and fins give it great speed to hunt and avoid being hunted: about 70 kilometers per hour .
However, its meat is one of the most coveted on the market due to its appetizing flavor, which makes it one of the fishermen’s favorite species.
- Bluefin tuna swim at a speed of 70 kilometers per hour .
shark The blue shark is a marine shark that is very widespread in coastal areas, so its proximity to man is its particularity. In addition, due to the shape of his body, he is an excellent swimmer that can reach 70 kilometers per hour .
Unlike other more robust sharks, this one has a more agile and less heavy body that facilitates the impulse through its two dorsal fins, two pectoral fins, two anal fins and a tail fin.
- The blue shark has a maximum speed of 70 kilometers per hour .
It has an anatomical shape similar to the sailfish, although less heavy and more slender. Thanks to the speed that it can achieve (70 kilometers per hour) and the sharp sword that it has as a snout, it becomes an effective predator.
In addition, the stinger serves as a defensive system that protects it from almost all other marine predators. But like tuna, the rich levels of magnesium in its meat have made it a common prey for fishermen.
- Swordfish speed: 70 kilometers per hour .
17. Flying fish
In a list of the world’s fast animals, the flying fish could not be missing, a curious species of fish that is distinguished by traveling long distances over the oceans. His body is a torpedo designed for high speed .
To be able to fly, it reaches 60 kilometers per hour in the water and, from there, it obtains the necessary force to propel itself thanks to the movement of its dorsal fins and its tail. It rises several meters, where it can fly for about 200 meters : quite a miracle, if we take into account that it does not have wings.
- The flying fish reaches 60 kilometers per hour in the water .
The fastest animals in the world (aerial)
The air space has also given rise to many species that have made speed a hunting tool or an adaptive advantage. In addition to birds, it includes some insects. 18. Peregrine Falcon
The king of speed in the air is the falcon, a bird of prey that usually flies at 100 kilometers per hour, but whose deadly dive attack reaches 360 , much more than the golden eagle. That, together with its strong beak, make it a fearsome predator.
It feeds on medium-sized birds, small mammals, reptiles and insects. It is bluish in color with a whitish belly.
- The speed of the peregrine falcon is 360 kilometers per hour .
19. Golden Eagle Second
only to the peregrine falcon, the eagle also makes deadly swooping attacks to hunt down small mammals and reptiles with its powerful talons. In this case, the golden eagle, thanks to its large wings, can reach 300 kilometers per hour .
It usually nests on the balconies of the rocks, a period in which it descends towards the earth’s surface in this type of attack to get food for its young. For this they have a privileged view that allows them to see the prey from kilometers away.
- The golden eagle has a speed of 300 kilometers per hour .
Swift The Royal Swift does not bear that name by chance: it reflects its power, both in its size (it is the largest of its kind) and in its strength. Thanks to huge crossbow-shaped wings, this swift has improved its flight and has become faster (200 kilometers per hour) .
In addition, the swift is in the air all the time, where it also hunts and drinks, and even sleeps, being able to be in permanent flight for up to 200 days.
- The speed of the royal swift is 200 kilometers per hour .
The alcotan is an animal of the falcon family that in its flight is very similar to the swift. The secret of its body that allows it to dive up to 200 km per hour is the length of its wings.
The hawk has wings so long that when folded they exceed the tail, and that length allows it, in addition to great speed, to make sudden turns in the air with great precision.
- The alcotan reaches 200 kilometers per hour .
22. Atlantic Gannet
It is a large seabird that perches on land only to nest its young. This bird breeds in large colonies in northern Europe and then makes a long migration to African Guinea.
To feed their young, the Atlantic booby has developed an effective method of hunting fish, consisting of a dive attack that reaches 160 kilometers per hour .
- The Atlantic gannet reaches a speed of 160 kilometers per hour .
Another body made for speed is that of the dragonfly, an insect with a light body and long, thin wings whose movement propels it at 145 kilometers per hour .
As if that were not enough, unlike other insects, it can move its front and rear wings at the same time, which allows it to gain power and save energy on takeoff and landing. In addition, they have a perfected eye with 360º vision to detect their prey.
- The dragonfly flies at 145 kilometers per hour .
It is the bird that achieves the fastest horizontal flight, up to 120 kilometers per hour , it is the common teal, a species from Africa and Eurasia that has a large wingspan and a lot of agility in movements.
It is a small species of duck, although when it moves it acquires the behavior and shape of a wader.
- Teals reach a speed of 120 kilometers per hour .
Hummingbird The hummingbird is one of those wonders of evolution that appears in the form of a very small bird (no more than 9 grams in weight) with a fan-shaped tail and that maintains a vertical position from which, shaking its wings, moves sideways, up and down, and forwards and backwards, which makes it a unique species.
Its metallic green fur with shades of pink and blue, and the speed it reaches (100 kilometers per hour) make it a visual wonder.
- The hummingbird flies at a speed of 100 kilometers per hour .
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