The athlete Usain Bolt, the world speed record man, has managed to run at speeds of up to 45 km / h. But these marks, which seem completely supernatural to us, fall short when we stop to compare them with those of the fastest animals in the world and their speed.
There are animals that have based their survival on the speed at which they can move, most of them are predators who trust their fast movement the luck of imposing themselves on other species, and surely more than one will surprise you. Do you want to know which are the fastest animals in the world and their speed?
Types of animal movement
The environment where an animal lives determines its movement and the way it does it. If we think of a snake, a dove and a dog, we can observe the enormous differences in which evolution has shaped animal locomotion. Next we will talk about the movement of the different species and how it can affect the speed of the animals :
In the air
In air there are 3 basic types of displacement:
- The flight : the classic wingbeat.
- Gliding : when they take advantage of the air currents or the propulsion they already carry without the need to beat their wings.
- The dive : when they are dropped from the air in free fall. It is in this displacement when they reach their maximum speeds.
On the floor
In land mode there is a great variety of movements:
- Crawling : whose advance is by dragging, for example, that of the snake.
- Wandering : the majority, either bipedal -human- or quadruped -cheetahs or dogs-.
- Brachiation : it is a type of locomotion typical of certain primates that move through the branches using only arms and hands.
- Jump : it can be used as the main form of movement, as in the case of the kangaroo, or simply as a resource, as in the case of frogs.
- contraction and extension: in the case of worms, they are crawled by body contractions.
Marine or freshwater ecosystems also have different varieties of locomotion. However, the reality is that the majority, and the one that reaches more speed, is active muscular swimming, that is, moving through the muscles and fins. Other types of locomotion are:
- Flagella vibrations
- Rowing with limbs : as some crustaceans do.
- Jet propulsion : like some jellyfish, which moves by expelling jets of water.
- Wandering : like crustaceans that walk on the seabed.
- Ripple : this is the case of eels, which move in a similar way to snakes.
- Peregrine Falcon with 360 km / h : it is a bird that can be found almost anywhere on earth, from the Arctic tundra to America, all of Europe and Asia. Although it usually flies at around 100 km / h when hunting, plummeting onto its prey, it can reach speeds of over 360 km / h.
- Cheetah with 115 km / h : it is the first land animal to enter this list, in fact, it is popularly considered the king of speed. This feline, which lives in Africa and some areas of the Middle East, can reach top speeds of 115 km / h.
- Mako shark with 124 km / h : also known as shortfin or shortfin mako, it is the first marine animal among the 10 fastest in the world. And it is not for less, since its speed can reach peaks of 124 km / h.
- Siberian Tiger with 90 km / h : another cat entering the list, but this can be somewhat surprising. The 90 km / h that the Siberian tiger can catch are outrageous if we take into account that a specimen of this tiger usually weighs between 160 and 190 kilos.
- Squirrel of the Carolinas with 90 km / h: it is an endemic species of America but that has reproduced at high speed in Europe, which has earned it being classified as an invasive species and prohibiting its possession.
- Eastern gray kangaroo with 80 km / h : popularly known as the giant kangaroo, this animal is capable of reaching very high speeds by chaining jumps. Its normal course is around 50 km / h, but it can reach peaks of 80, something incredible considering that it usually measures 2 meters.
- Hare with 72 km / h : it is not surprising that hares are synonymous with speed, these animals are capable of running twice as fast as the fastest of humans.
- Ostrich with 70 km / h : this is one of the birds that cannot fly, but why do they want to fly if they are so fast? Furthermore, this animal also holds the record for being the fastest 2-legged animal in the world.
- Horse with 70 km / h : we finally found the horse, one of the main means of transport that human beings have had during their history. These graceful animals can reach top speeds of 70 km / h.
But you have to add one last animal to this list, one that you would never have thought of. It is a type of mite , specifically paratarsotomus macropalpis , which is no more than the size of a seed but can move its own body 322 times every second . Considering that the cheetah moves 16 times the length of its body every second this is something very exceptional. If human beings were capable of running 322 the length of their body in one second, they would have to run at 2,092,147 km / h. Thus, we can say that the mite is the fastest animal in the world.
Beyond the mako shark that we have explained to you in the previous section, there are different fish that catch very high speeds, much more than some of the animals in the previous list. That is why we have considered it necessary to make a separate list with the fastest animals in the water :
- Pacific sailfish with 109 km / h
- Swordfish with 100 km / h
- Blue needle with 80 km / h
- Bluefin tuna with 70 km / h
- Blue shark with 70 km / h