When thinking about the planet’s fastest animal, it is common to think of the cheetah as the number 1. Sadly, there are other animals faster than the cheetah. It does not mean, though, that the cheetah is not part of the top 10 fastest animals in the world. Read more to find out what is the cheetah’s rank and what is the fastest animal in the planet.
#10 – Ostrich and the Swordfish
The 10th spot is shared by two species. The first is the Ostrich or Struthio camelus. This is the largest living bird with a long neck and long legs. It can grow to almost 3 meters tall and lays the largest eggs among all the bird species that are still alive today. Unfortunately, because of its size and structure, it is also a flightless bird. Luckily, it can run very fast and is the fastest animal on two legs!
The second species on the 10th spot is the Swordfish or Xiphias gladius. This fish is predatory and can grow as long as the height of an Ostrich. Although the adults do not have teeth, it gets its prey by using its elongated upper jaw that looks like a sword (thus its name). It can be found in the Atlantic, Pacific, and Indian oceans.
Both species can run/swim up to 97 km/hr.
#9 – Anna’s Hummingbird
Although less than 12 cm in length, Anna’s Hummingbird or Calypte anna can travel up to 98.27 km/hr. That is more than 3 times faster than a human can run! This species can be found in North America’s west coast.
#8 – Sailfish
The sailfish of genus Istiophorus, is a big fish that can grow up to 1.5 meters in length. This fish is distinct for having a very pointed upper jaw (like a swordfish) and a back fin that looks like a sail, therefore the name sailfish. It can swim and leap out of water at speeds of up to 109.19 km/hr. It can be found the warmer waters of the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans.
#7 – Cheetah
At last, the cheetah or Acinonyx jubatus! This big cat is not just part of the top 10 fastest animals in the world but also the fastest mammal on Earth. It can run up to 112–120 km/hr or up to 4 times as fast as a human can run! It can be found in Africa and sections of the Middle East. Sadly, only about 7,500 individuals are left and this number is continuously declining because of habitat loss and overhunting, among other things.
#6 – Black Marlin
The Istiompax indica or the Black Marlin is not only one of the top 10 fasted animals in the world but also the fastest fish in the planet. It can travel up to 130 km/hr. It is also one of the planet’s largest marlins and bony fishes, since it grows up to almost 5 meters in length. This is why it is highly valued when it is caught.
This species can be found in the Atlantic, Indian, Mediterranean, and Pacific Oceans, as well as the Black Sea.
#5 – Spur-Winged Goose
The Spur-Winged Goose or Plectropterus gambensis, is the world’s largest goose. It travels up to 142 km/hr which is almost 5 times faster than a man can run. This bird is a seasonal traveler and flies many kilometers around the continent of Africa in search of water.
#4 – Frigatebird
The Frigatebird is a seabird and belongs to the genus Fregata. These birds have the largest wingspan in comparison to the length of the bodies. Thanks to that, they can stay airborne for a week and fly with a top speed of 153 km/hr or a little over 5 times the speed of man.
One species, the Christmas Island Frigatebird or Fregata andrewsi, is critically endangered. Not only can it be found in just a single island in the entire planet (Christmas Island) but its numbers are also decreasing because the area where it lives is being cleared to mine for phosphates and other human uses.
#3 – Eurasian Hobby
The Eurasian Hobby or Falco subbuteo, is a petite falcon. It is known for its great agility and speed while flying. It can fly up to 160 km/hr, thus can prey on smaller birds. It can be found in Asia, Europe, and Africa.
#2 – White-Throated Needletail
The Hirundapus caudacutus or White-Throated Needletail or Spine-Tailed Swift is the fastest bird while flapping its wings. It can fly up to 169 km/hr. It has long wings and short legs, so it stays airborne far more often than any other place. It feeds on insects and is great in keeping insect numbers in check. This species can be found in Southern Siberia during the northern hemisphere summer and in Australia during the northern hemisphere winter. It can also be found in selected areas in between the two locations mentioned above.
#1 – Peregrine Falcon
Finally, the number one species in the 10 Fastest Animals in the World is the Peregrine Falcon or Falco peregrinus. Like the Eurasian Hobby, this large falcon is a hunter. When it is hunting for medium-sized birds, it can dive up to 389 km/hr or over 10 times the speed of man!
The Peregrine Falcon can be found almost everywhere on Earth except in the farthest Polar Regions and in New Zealand. This makes this falcon the second most widespread bird on Earth. The first is Rock pigeon which is introduced to many areas by humans and serves as prey for this falcon.