What Are the Five Fastest Animals?


Quick Answer

According to OneKind, the top five fastest animals are the peregrine falcon, the spine-tailed swift, the frigate bird, the spur-winged goose and the sailfish. While these animals move with extraordinary speed through air and water, the top five fastest animals on land, according to TheTravelAlmanac.com, are the cheetah, the pronghorn antelope, the lion, the Thompson's gazelle and the wildebeest.

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Full Answer

The peregrine falcon can reach speeds over 200 mph during its hunting dive, called a stoop. It typically hunts medium-sized birds, such as pigeons and doves. Once the prey is located, the peregrine falcon begins its stoop with its wings folded back and feet tucked. It strikes the prey in midair and then captures it in its talons.

The spine-tailed swift can reach horizontal cruising speeds over 100 mph, making it the fastest bird in powered flight. The frigate bird and spur-winged goose follow closely behind with maximum speeds of 95 mph and 88 mph, respectively.

The sailfish moves through the water at speeds of 68 mph. It is known for its dorsal fin, called a sail, that can be folded for swimming and raised to intimidate predators.

The fastest land animals, the cheetah and the pronghorn antelope, can run faster than 60 mph. The lion, Thompson's gazelle and wildebeest race along at 50 mph.

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