Top 20 Fastest Animals in the World

some fastest animals in the world

Source by: Only Dinosaurs

In the world of fiction, we have Superman, who is faster than a bullet, the Flash who runs so fast, he can run into the future. There also exists Spider-Man, whose webs help him get to various places faster than the ordinary person. However, although every man wants to be Superman, this has not been made possible by nature. To satisfy this want that we all seem to have, we have all come up with various inventions that would help us satisfy this ‘need.’

Although we all wish this trait were inherent, we do not get to have this. However, it seems that some animals get to have this trait that we all crave. At this moment, let’s have a look at twenty of the fastest animals in the world.

Fastest Animals in the Sea

1. Sailfish

a grew sailfish jumps up the sea

Source by: Fishing Pro Exclusive Punta Cana

Taking the cake at sea is the Sailfish (Istiophorus). Getting its name from its erectile dorsal fin known as the Sail, which runs across its back, this beauty weighs about 90 kilograms and does not exceed three meters in length. The Sailfish considered the fastest sea animal, goes up to 110 km/h. This could be attributed to the fact that it weighs so little and is relatively small.

2. Blue Marlin

a blue marlin jumps out of the sea

Source by: Ocean Blue Fishing Adventures

Taking us back to the sea is the Blue Marlin (Makaira nigricans). Though frequently exaggerated, the actual speed of this fish goes up to 110 km/h, making it one of the fastest animals in the world.

Fastest Animals in the Air

3. Brazilian Free-Tailed Bat

a brown brazilian free-tailed bat is flying in the sky

Source by: The Statesman

Next is the Brazilian Free-Tailed Bat (Tadarida brasiliensis). This is the perfect example of small but mighty. Weighing about 11-12 grams, this little bat is faster than any other animal, coming up 160 km/h. Apart from the fact that they are so small, their bodies are designed to enable their speed with narrow wings that end at pointy tips. Also, the way in which they fly aids their speed incredibly. These bats fly in such a manner similar to how a plane would go (faster in headwinds and slower in tailwinds).

4. Peregrine Falcon

a black peregrine falcon is standing on a handrail

Source by: Lindsay wildlife Experience

Another bird that can by no means be ignored is the Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus). Since this bird goes at a respectable speed, what makes it stand out, is the speed of its swoop during hunting. These birds go up to about 380 km/h while swooping to get their prey. This extreme speed allows for them to execute clean moves in getting all forms of prey.

5. Spine Tailed Swift

a picture of the brown and blue spine tailed swift

Source by: Old Book llustrations

The Spine Tailed Swift (Hirundapus caudacutus), one of the fastest air animals, is capable of about 170 km/h. Getting its name from the spiny end of its tail, this bird has a relatively small body which allows it to achieve extreme speeds over a long period.

Fastest Animals on Land

6. Cheetah

a brow cheetah with black spots is standing on the ground

Source by: Fandom

Coming next in line is the Cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus). Considered the fastest land animal, going at the speed of up to 112 and 120 km/h. This happens in short bursts of up to 1600 ft (0.49 km).; the cheetah can accelerate from 0 to over 100 km/h in three seconds.

The cheetah possesses these traits as it aids it in getting food. More so, certain parts of this mammal have been adapted for the extreme speeds achieved: large nostrils, which would increase the oxygen intake per time; enlarged heart and lungs, and allow for the proper circulation of oxygen.

7. Lion

two brown lions are standing on the ground

Source by: NPR

Lion (Panthera leo) is one of the deadliest mammals. This is a well-stated fact—not just due to the way they look; but also due to their hunting prowess which would be non-existent without speed. The lion goes up to 56 km/h in short distances and can leap as far as 36 feet (0.01 km). The lioness, on the other hand, also known as the head hunter, is much faster than a lion as she goes up to 70 km/h.

The lioness, which is around 30 kg lighter and a foot shorter, has an advantage as this aids her in going faster than her male counterpart. If you’re already mesmerized by lion facts, maybe you should visit a theme park that has a life size animatronic lion to see this incredibly fast animal.

8. Male Horse Fly

a male horse fly with big eyes on the ground

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Although the focus seems to be on the more giant animals, it is only fair to focus on the tiny animals. The Male Horse Fly (Tabanidae) gives all the other animals a run for their speeds with its speed of 144 km/h.

With a body length of 0.2 and 1.0 inches (2.54 cm), it is safe to say that the lack of weight is a significant advantage that aids in making this insect one of the fastest animals in the world.

9. Winning Brew

a brown hourse is running with a man on its back

Source by: The TwinSpires Edge

It is an indisputable fact that horses are not only majestic but also manage to be extremely fast. The horse that seems to win the prize for the fastest is Winning Brew. An English Thoroughbred (Equus caballus), this particular horse reaches the speed of 70 km/h.

This is achieved because thoroughbreds have long legs with lean muscular bodies. They are also taller and of lighter weight than other horses.

10. Greyhound

a greyhound is lying on the ground

Source by: Wikimedia Commons

When dogs are mentioned, the first thing that comes to mind is that they are man’s best friend. The Greyhound (Canis lupus familiaris) takes this a step further by being one of the fastest animals in the world.

Going up to 74 km/h, this hunting dog has several features such as its long, powerful legs, deep chest, flexible spine, and slim build, giving it an edge and giving an edge in the speed department.

11. African Wild Dog

some baby african wild dogs on the ground

Source by: African wildlife Foundation

Another dog to be seen is the African Wild Dog (Lycaon pictus). As the name connotes, it’s a wild animal, making it a hunter. During the period of hunting, the African Wild Dog could go up to 70 km/h.

12. Kangaroo

a brown kangaroo is standing on the ground

Source by: Sada EI balad

A surprise in the list of the world’s fastest animals is the Kangaroo (Macropus). Inasmuch as this Australian attraction has mastered kickboxing and boxing, another art they seem to have mastered is the art of being extremely fast.

Although kangaroos go at a moderate speed of about 25 km/h, they could go up to 70 km/h for almost two kilometers.

13. Springbok

two brown springboks are standing on the ground

Source by: Encyclopedia Britannica

The Springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) manages to be one of the fastest animals in the world. Being an animal of prey, it goes up to the speed of 88 km/h. At this rate, it is faster than the lion and not the most straightforward animal to catch. This animal is tiny at the length of about 4.5 feet (1.37 m) and weighs about 48 kgs allows for them to go at very high speeds.

14. Brown Hare

two brown hares are fighting on the ground

Source by: Country Life

Animals of prey have various ways through which they could protect themselves from predators. One of these ways is being extremely fast. A skill well mastered by the Brown Hare (Lepus europaeus). This hare could go up to 72 km/h. This is attributed to their powerful hind legs.

15. Pronghorn Antelope

a brown pronghorn antelope is standing on the ground

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The Pronghorn Antelope (Antilocapra americana) also claims a spot in the list of the world’s fastest animals. At a speed of 98 km/h, the pronghorn can out-sprint predators as they maintain their speed for miles. This speed is because they have the “extraordinary capacity” to process oxygen, big lungs, and lean muscles to support them.

16. Cougar

A brown cougar is lying on a stone

Source by: Global Times

The Cougar (Puma concolor), also known as the Mountain Lion, goes up to 80 km/h. This speed is made possible due to its powerful hind legs. The cougar can leap as high as 18feat. However, it is more adapted for short sprints than long distances, as seen in most other predators.

17. Serval

a brown serval with black spots is standing on the ground

Source by: National Geographic Kids

The Serval (Leptailurus serval), an African cat, though an animal on the smaller side; the serval is a hunter. The need to hunt begs for speed, which this cat is very good at. This animal racks up the speed of about 80 km/h. Their extreme speed is attributed to their long legs and lean body.

18. Blue Wildebeest

a blue wildebeest is walking on the ground

Source by: Wikipedia

The Blue Wildebeest (Connochaetes taurinus), animals of prey well-known for their Great Migration, are fast enough to make it to the top 20 fastest animals. At the speed of 80 km/h, they are almost at the same level as the lion. This gives them an advantage as they are protected from predators (primarily lions).

19. Jaguar

a brown jaguar with black spots is walking in the forest

Source by: National Geographic

The Jaguar (Panthera onca), one of the most feared predators of the South Americas, goes up to a speed of about 80 km/h. The jaguar is a relatively small and well-muscled animal that allows it to go very high.

20. Ostrich

a black ostrich is walking across the road

Source by: Wikimedia Commons

This list would not be complete without the Ostrich (Struthio camelus). Known as the fastest bird on land and one of the fastest birds in the world, the Ostrich goes up to the speed of 96 km/hr.

This is made possible due to their long, solid legs and the power gotten from the elastic energy stored in their tendons which causes “a spring in their step,” causing them to spend less energy for more coverage.


a peregrine falcon is hunting

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Hopefully, you’ve learnt some new facts about several animals in this article. Although many animals are considered fast, the ones included in this list are the fastest of them all. Visit a zoological garden or theme park to see some of these animals for yourself.

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