With so many different animals in the world, it’s not surprising that each have their own unique traits. There are so many different types of creatures with so many special skills, it can be difficult to decide what’s most impressive. One thing we know, however, is that speed is exciting. Humans have an interest in things that move quickly – fast cars, trains, running splits, cycling times and much more. So when it comes to animals, the fastest are often some of the most popular. These animals can reach incredible speeds very quickly, making them quite memorable!
#1 – Cheetah
The cheetah is well renowned for being the fastest land animal on earth, reaching speeds of 60-70mph in under 3 seconds. Their incredible swiftness make them agile hunters, although they are sprinters and unable to maintain these speeds for longer than 30 seconds at a time. They prey mainly upon antelope and gazelle, two species that are also quite fast, making their short bursts of speed necessary for survival.
#2 – Ostrich
The ostrich is a large, flightless bird native to Africa, weighing an impressive average of 139-320 lbs and reaching 9-ft tall. Notable for it’s black and white coloring, long neck and intimidating size, the ostrich is quite remarkable. Further, they have clocked the fastest land speed for any bird – reaching upwards of 60mph.
#3 – Pronghorn Antelope
The pronghorn antelope is a hoofed animal native to western and central North America. Despite its name, the pronghorn is not a true antelope but is called such because of its physical resemblance to the antelope species. Pronghorns can reach incredible speeds of up to 55mph, making it the fastest animal native to the Western Hemisphere. Coyotes, bobcats, mountain lions and even golden eagles are the natural predators of the pronghorn antelope, making their speed an important method of survival.
#4 – Springbok
The springbok is an antelope species native to southern and southwestern Africa. Cheetahs are a main predator of the springbok, so speed is an important aspect of survival for this antelope. When required, the springbok can reach speeds of up to 55mph. They’re also known for performing repeated high leaps into the air, reaching heights of over 6-ft. This is known as pronking and is thought to be a male’s way of showing off to potential mates.
#5 – Blue Wildebeest
The blue wildebeest is a large antelope species also native to Africa. Despite their size, blue wildebeest are capable of reaching speeds of 50mph. These bursts of energy keep them from being caught by predators, such as lions, leopards, spotted hyenas and African wild dogs. Blue wildebeest are known for their incredible migration across Africa, with nearly 2 million animals and covering roughly 1,000 miles.
#6 – Lion
An already imposing creature, the lion is capable of reaching speeds upwards of 50mph. This allows them to catch their quick prey, such as the blue wildebeest. Lions are apex predators, residing at the top of the food chain. There are currently 8 subspecies of lion, all impressive in their own right. Although they have no natural predators, humans have taken their toll on lion populations. Once ranging throughout Africa and all of southern Eurasia, spanning from Greece to India, their populations have declined heavily. Today, lions are found only in central and southern Africa and one forest in India.
#7 – Blackbuck
The blackbuck is an antelope found in India, Pakistan and Nepal. Wolves, cheetahs and pariah dogs are natural predators of the blackbuck. Because of this, reaching their top speeds of 50mph is essential to their survival. Although not yet endangered, the blackbuck is getting closer to extinction due to habitat loss and overhunting. They became extinct in some of their natural habitat during the 1970s, but with conservation efforts their population has increased since then.