The fastest animals on Earth

An average human can run at a speed of only 10-15 kilometers per hour (6-9 mph). The fastest animal on Earth can achieve unbelievable speeds of over 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph). This means that the fastest animal on Earth is as fast as a bullet train. In this article, we will see what are the fastest animals on Earth. Let’s read.

The fastest animals on Earth

Peregrine falcon

The Peregrine falcon is the fastest animal on Earth. It is a bird of prey with a large geographical range that includes every continent except Antarctica. A peregrine falcon can achieve an extraordinary speed of over 300 kilometers per hour (186 mph). This is however not the horizontal speed of the falcon. To catch its prey, the Peregrine falcon flies high up in the sky, and at the right time nosedives, hitting its target at a high speed of over 300 km/hr with its talons (claws).

A picture of Peregrine falcon, the fastest animal on Earth

Peregrine falcons can achieve speeds of over 100 km/hr in horizontal flights. There are some birds however that are faster than the Peregrine falcon in horizontal flight e.g.

  • White-throated needletail – maximum horizontal speed around 170 km/hr (based on unverified reports).
  • Common swift – maximum horizontal speed around 110 km/hr.

The fastest animal on land

Cheetah is the seventh-largest big cat in the world. It is the fastest animal on land achieving speeds of over 120 km/hr (75 mph). Found in the wild only in Africa, India, and Iran, there are 4 subspecies of Cheetah. The Asiatic Cheetah is a highly endangered subspecies with less than a hundred individuals left in the wild.

Cheetah. the fastest animal on land

Cheetahs mostly hunt during the day to avoid Lions and Leopards that hunt at night. A Cheetah stalks its prey and moves closer to about 50 meters before ambushing. The top speed of the Cheetah crosses the 100 km/hr (62mph) mark but only for a few seconds. A Cheetah can slow down its speed fairly quickly and is able to maneuver its body at high speeds.

Other fast animals on land


The pronghorn is a hoofed mammal found in North America. Also known as the American antelope, Pronghorns can achieve speeds of over 90 km/hr (56 mph).


Springboks are found in Southern African countries. They can achieve speeds of over 85 kilometers per hour (53 mph).

Fastest animals in the water

When we talk about the fastest animals in the water, there is a lack of reliable data. However, the Marlin, sailfish, and Swordfish are thought to be the fastest animals in water with maximum speeds of over 100 km/hr (62mph).

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