The 20 Fastest Animals In The World; Ranked by their Speed. Cheetah isn’t the Fastest

Looking to investigate the swiftest animals on the planet? Look no further – our list of the 20 fastest animals, ranked by speed, is here to satisfy your curiosity.

Featuring the Peregrine Falcon, which can reach an astonishing 389 km/h and is the quickest animal on Earth, and the Pronghorn, which reaches a still-impressive 88.5 km/h, our list offers insight into the breathtaking speed of some of nature’s most remarkable critters. Join us for a journey throughout the animal kingdom that highlights the incredible agility and speed of these awe-inspiring creatures.

20) Rhinoceros – 30 mph

Cc: Encyclopedia Britannica

Black and white rhinoceroses can sprint at speeds of approximately 30 mph (48 km/h) for brief periods. These hefty creatures are known for their substantial size, which can weigh up to 2,300 kg (5,000 lb) and stand as high as 1.8 meters (5.9 ft).

Sadly, both rhinoceros species are at risk of extinction due to diminishing habitats and illegal hunting for their sought-after horns, which are prized in traditional medicine and as symbols of wealth and prestige.

18) Blue Wildebeest – 35 mph

Cc: Blue Wildebeest

Found solely in Australia, the Grey Kangaroos claim the title of world’s biggest marsupials. Their remarkable jumping prowess allows them to soar up to 30 ft (9 m) in a single bound, making them quite formidable.

Additionally, they are able to dash with short bursts up to 35 mph (56 km/h). Notably, Grey Kangaroos are sociable creatures and reside in cohorts referred to as mobs or troops overseen by a dominant male – the boomer.

17) Wolf – 40 mph

Cc: Wikipedia

Found across the northern hemisphere, wolves are a type of canine known for their agility and swift movements. With an impressive speed of up to 35 mph (56 km/h), wolves use this ability for hunting, especially prey like deer and elk. These predators also roam over great distances in their search for food and to establish their territory.

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16) Greyhound – 45 mph

Cc: Wikipedia

For centuries, Greyhounds have been specifically bred to pursue small animals, including hares, foxes, and deer. Despite being utilized in racing competitions, they are highly sought-out as pets due to their kind and loving demeanor. Their exceptional speed, allowing them to reach up to 45 mph (72 km/h) in brief spurts, makes them one of the quickest dog breeds.

15) Ostrich – 45 mph

Cc: New Scientist

Indigenous to Africa, ostriches are birds which are unable to fly and represent the largest of all living birds. The males of this species can grow up to 9 feet (equal to 2.7 meters) in height and can weigh up to 320 lbs (equivalent to 145 kg).

Equipped with sturdy, lengthy legs, ostriches have the ability to run at swift speeds of 45 mph (measuring 72 km/h), and are capable of maintaining this pace for impressive distances.

14) Thomson’s Gazelle – 50 mph

Cc: Wikipedia

Tommies, otherwise known as Thomson’s Gazelle, are a gazelle species that inhabits the savannas of East Africa. These agile creatures are renowned for their exceptional swiftness and can attain speeds of up to 50 mph (equal to 80 km/h) while sprinting.

Although their rapid pace can only be upheld for brief spans, their ability to run at such high speeds makes them incredibly fast runners.

13) Gyrfalcon – 50 mph

Cc: All About Birds

Gyrfalcons are regarded as the biggest and mightiest falcons with their capacity to soar at great velocities. Studies suggest that their maximum speed varies from 40-50 mph (around 64-80 km/h).

They can continue flying at these rapid speeds while pursuing their prey, making them exemplars of quickness and dexterity as birds of prey.

These intelligent creatures hunt by flying at high altitudes and scanning the surroundings for prey. Once their target is spotted, they quickly swoop down and grab hold of it with their razor-sharp talons.

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12) Zebra – 50 mph

Cc: Wikipedia

Zebras are renowned for their nimbleness, with estimates of their maximum speed ranging from 40-50 mph. When they are sprinting, they’re capable of executing sharp turns and abrupt halts, making it challenging for predators to capture them.

11) Pronghorn – 55 mph

Cc: Wikipedia

The Pronghorn, commonly referred to as the American antelope, roams in the west and central areas of North America. Recognized for their rapidity and stamina, these magnificent creatures can sprint at remarkable speeds of up to 55 mph (89 km/h) for brief intervals, and keep up a stable pace of about 30 mph (48 km/h) for extended periods. Their impressive abilities render them one of the fastest animals on land in North America.

10) Dall’s Porpoise – 55 mph

Cc: Whale and Dolphin Conservation

Horses, on average, are capable of running at velocities ranging from 30 to 40 mph. Nevertheless, a number of equine species have been documented to attain speeds of up to 24 meters per second (55 mph) in brief spurts.

One such breed is the Thoroughbred horse, valued for its swift pace, and commonly employed in racing. This breed is the result of purposeful and meticulous breeding, carried out for enhancing speed and stamina.

8) Blackbuck Antelope – 61 mph

Cc: Wikipedia

Residing in the grasslands and savannas of India and Nepal, the Blackbuck Antelope stands out for its swiftness and dexterity, as it can soar up to 27 meters per second (61 mph), establishing itself as amongst the fastest animals on land. Possessing a slim and refined physique, the Blackbuck Antelope’s lanky legs are crafted for rapid locomotion.

7) Sailfish – 68 mph

Cc: Animals

With its remarkable velocity and might, the Sailfish is a formidable, predatory fish. The species can surge up to 30 meters per second (68 mph), securing its place as one of the quickest swimmers in the world. Sailfish are commonly located in tropical and subtropical regions of the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian Oceans, favoring the vast expanse of open waters. Nonetheless, they can also inhabit coastal areas, as well as bays and estuaries.

6) Black Marlin – 80 mph

Cc: DIVE Magazine

Possessing impressive speed and strength, the Black Marlin is a sizable and carnivorous fish. With the ability to reach speeds of 35 meters per second (80 mph), this species reigns as one of the fastest swimmers amongst fish. Black Marlin are typically located in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans, primarily in the open ocean.

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Nevertheless, they can also reside near the coast and in bays and estuaries. These fish can grow exceedingly large and are renowned for the vigorous jumps they make when hooked, making them a prized catch among sport fishermen.

5) Cheetah – 75 mph

Cc: BBC

Remarkably, cheetahs are capable of sprinting at speeds of 75 mph (120 km/h) in brief spurts of up to 1,500 feet (460 m). Their exceptional speed is made possible by their distinct body structure, including a flexible spine, sizeable nostrils, and non-retractable claws that provide traction during running.

4) Frigatebird – 95 mph

Cc: American Oceans

Recognized by both The Frigatebird and Man-of-War bird moniker, this seabird exhibits exceptional aerial prowess. It can attain up to 42 meters per second (95 mph) while maintaining stability, ranking among the fastest birds in the skies.

Thriving in tropical and subtropical areas, Frigatebirds inhabit coastal regions and islands. Their slim wings and forked tail, facilitating high-level agility and velocity, are signature features.

3) White-throated Needletail – 156 mph

Cc: NYC Audubon

The Spine-tailed Swift, or the White-throated Needletail, is a swift variety lauded for its swift and maneuverable movements.

This bird can soar up to 69 meters per second (156 mph), holding the title of one of the fastest birds on the planet. These birds are migratory and can be found in Australia, New Guinea, and a cluster of neighboring islands.

2) Golden Eagle – 199 mph

Cc; All About Birds

The formidable Golden eagle is a mighty raptor recognized for its swiftness and might amid flight. Although it is not as quick as the Peregrine Falcon, this avian is yet capable of flying at impressive speeds, with a maximum velocity of 199 mph (320 km/h) during a hunting dive.

Just like the Peregrine Falcon, the Golden eagle uses a tactic called stoop, a headlong plunge, to seize its prey.

1) Peregrine Falcon – 242 mph

Cc; Green Chimneys

The Peregrine Falcon holds the record as the swiftest bird globally, clocking incredible velocities of up to 242 mph (389 km/h) while swooping to capture its prey.

The falcon achieves this amazing pace through its pursuit tactic known as stoop – a dive where the bird plunges unprompted towards its target before retracting when near to attack.

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