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World's Fastest Animals

By Edited Jun 10, 2015 3 5

World's Fastest Human

The world record for a 100m sprint currently stands at 9.58 seconds, and was set by Jamaican Runner Usain Bolt in 2008 (Berlin). At his peak speed it is estimated that he can therefore run at around 27.5mph. (You may scoff at the '0.5' added on to his time, but with what we are about to learn about the speeds our fellow earthly inhabitants can reach, we're going to need all the help we can get).

usain bolt

Humans may well run the world, but they certainly do not run it the fastest.

Let's see who does....

World's Fastest Land Animals; Top Three

Third position in this category goes to the Lion with an estimated top speed of 50mph.


  (The Thompson Gazelle, Wildebeest and Springbok are also thought to be able to match this impressive time).

Second position goes to the Pronghorn Antelope, who can run at a very respectable speed of 61 mph.

Pronghorned Anteplope

First prize however goes to (you all knew it) the Cheetah. In 2009 a Cheetah in Cincinnati zoo sprinted 100m in 6.1 seconds, meaning it can move at a phenomenal rate of 70mph!


World's Fastest Fish; Top Three

In Third Position we have the aptly named 'Wahoo Fish', with an estimated top speed of 68mph.

wahoo fish

In Second Position is the 'Marlin Fish' with an estimated top speed of 50mph.

marlin fish

And first prize goes to the 'Sail Fish' with a whopping estimated top speed of 68mph.

sail fish

(If like me you were expecting the barracuda to rate on this; it actually only has a top speed of around 35mph, which I found suprising).

(Also, in case you were curious, the estimated top speed of a human swimmer stands at around 5mph.)

human swimmer

World's Fastest Birds; Top Three

Birds are by far the fastest creatures on Earth. Here are the top three...

In third place is the Spur Winged Goose with an estimated top speed of 88mph.

spur winged goose

In second place is the Frigate bird with an estimated top speed of 95mph.

frigate bird

But taking first prize in this category for level flight is the Spine-Tailed Swift, with an estimated top speed of 106mph.

spine tailed swift

However, the fastest bird in the world is the Peregrine Falcon, which can reach an astronomical 200mph+ in a dive. (But not in level flight). This makes it the fastest thing on earth. Well done to the Peregrine Falcon!

peregrine falcon


So there we have it...

The world's fastest!

We really are privileged to live alongside such magnificent creatures, let's look after them!



Oct 7, 2011 11:33pm
Enjoyed your article. I had never given any thought to how fast fish could swim and was astounded to see those speeds.
Oct 11, 2011 4:39pm
Wow I had no idea a bird could reach a speed of 200mph
Oct 12, 2011 5:50am
Great list! *Thumbs up*
Oct 12, 2011 12:43pm
great article!!!
Oct 13, 2011 3:11pm
I saw his race. Amazing. Cool facts. My kids digged your article.
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  1. "World's fastest Animals/Birds/Fish." www.thetravelalmanac.com. 8/09/2011 <Web >

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