What is the fastest animal in the world? It's not what you think!
Is the fastest animal in the world a sprinting feline or an unpredictable hunter from lofty heights? What is the fastest animal, be it by land, by sky, or by sea?
Animals never fail to impress us with their incredible abilities, many of which are well out of reach of the average human. While many believe the cheetah to be the fastest animal in the world, they couldn't be further from the truth. The answer will not surprise you too much, though!
This animal record is pretty darn impressive, and outperforms any other living creature that is known to us. What is the fastest animal in the world, and how does it compare? TAG24's on the case!
The fastest animal in the world
The fastest animal in the world is the Peregrine Falcon, which can move almost three times as fast as a Cheetah. As a result, this particular bird is also classified as the fastest hunter in the world, consuming many different small-sized birds such as pigeons, waterfowls, and songbirds.
Peregrine Falcons are rather large migratory birds that live throughout much of the US, the UK, and continental Europe. Interestingly, these birds have a pretty striking similarity to humans: they mate for life!
How fast is the fastest animal in the world?
The Peregrine Falcon reaches a whopping speed of 200mph when it dives. For context, that is about a third of the cruising speed of an Airbus A380 and 3-4 times the speed of a cheetah, which generally reaches around 70 mph. That's just wild, isn't it?
Something awesome: If you are curious to see how this kind of speed feels from the air, there's a cool Peregrine Falcon webcam that you should totally check out!
What are the top 10 fastest animals in the world?
Birds of prey ultimately dominate any list of fast animals. They are brutal, violent beasts that attack at great speeds from the air. However, that doesn't mean that there aren't a few interesting additions here as well.
Here are the top 10 fastest animals on the planet:
- 1. Peregrine Falcon
- 2. Golden Eagle
- 3. Gray-headed Albatross
- 4. Cheetah
- 5. Pacific Sailfish
- 6. Blue-footed Booby
- 7. Mexican Bulldog Bat
- 8. Puffin
- 9. White-backed Vulture
- 10. Black Marlin
So, considering the list we just provided, it seems that birds and flying creatures make up the vast majority of the world's fastest animals. Actually, there's only one mammal on the entire list!
What is the fastest land animal in the world?
The fastest land animal is, indeed, the humble Cheetah. These incredible land beasts are of the feline variety and can run between a whopping 50 and 80 mph. In other words, don't try to race a cheetah, as you won't be able to out-run this bad boy!
Cheetahs are native to Africa and central Iran, terrorizing with their mind-boggling speed and shocking with their beauty. Seriously, these animals are ridiculously good-looking with their spotted golden coats. Sadly, they are endangered with only around 7,000 left in the wild!
Fastest swimming animal
The Pacific Sailfish is possibly the fastest swimming animal in the world. These incredible fish can swim at more than 60mph, though only over a short period of time. They are native to the Pacific and Indian oceans, as well as the waters found around the coast of Australia.
There are some pretty specimens out there!
The Peregrine Falcon may be one of the most impressive animals out there, and certainly the fastest, but we can't step away from those beautiful Cheetahs. It's a shame that their speed has been usurped from the air, but that doesn't make them any less impressive.
We'll have to keep our eye out for more world records that the Cheetah can take up the mantle on, just to keep them up there with the greats! In the meantime, the Peregrine Falcon will do just fine!
Cover photo: Unsplash / Mathew Schwartz