Speed is essential in the animal kingdom as it can determine the outcome between life and death. Speed is not only suitable for escaping predators as a means of defense. It is also suitable for predators so that they can catch up with their prey. It’s a general perception that a lot of the fastest animals are seen on land but there are also those that excel in speed in the water and in the air. Let’s take a look at the five fastest animals regardless of which terrain they trek through.
1. The Pronghorn
The pronghorn runs as fast as 88.5 km/h or 55 mph. It runs on land and is under the mammal breed. The pronghorn hails from the northern part of America as well as Canada.
There are also different breeds coming from various regions in America as well as in Mexico. The ones in the north area are the most prominent ones. Pronghorns appear to look like antelopes but they are not. They’re also not as big as a deer or moose. The male’s prominent quality is that they have two long horns made out of soft yet sturdy bone. The females also have horns although not as large as the males. Pronghorns are generally herbivores and they tend to habituate in grasslands. They are also capable of eating poisonous and toxic plants without suffering its effects. Pronghorns tend to have fewer encounters with predators which are limited to coyotes or wolves depending on where they breed.
2. The Ostrich
The ostrich runs as fast as 97 km/h or 60mph. The ostrich originally is a native of South Africa but has then since made its way worldwide.
There are several farms that have domesticated ostriches in America, Australia, New Zealand, and even in the Middle East. The ostrich is a giant nonflying bird stretching up from 6 to 9 feet tall. It also has a very long and slender neck. It walks on its two hind legs and its beak can be very sharp and dangerous to people. Ostriches in the wild tend to outrun their predators as long as they aren’t really that fast. Ostriches are mainly herbivores as they eat grass, plants, and fruits. Ostriches have also become one of the most delicious types of meat to eat and its egg is big enough to feed 4 to 5 people in one serving.
3. The Sailfish
The sailfish swims as fast as 109.19 km/h or 67.85 mph. The name would suggest that it is a fish and hails from two different oceans in the world.
It resides from either the Atlantic or the Pacific Ocean. Since the sailfish lives under the waves, it’s hard to determine how fast it can out swim predators but it’s undeniable that it is the fastest fish. It also stretches to more than 3 meters and weighing at least 200lbs. The sailfish kind of looks like a swordfish with its long snout but it isn’t. Its defining feature is the sail-like fin on its back. Despite being a very fast fish, sailfish are known to be a prime target for fishing contests due to its size.
4. The Cheetah
The cheetah runs as fast as 112 to 120 km/h or 70 – 75 mph. It’s arguably the most famous fastest animal in the world. The cheetah comes from Africa, although there are also those that come from the Middle East but with minimal quantity.
The cheetah belongs to the cat family is a bit similar to a leopard. Its main feature is the spots on its body and yellow colored fur. The cheetah is known to be a predator in the fields of Africa. It uses its speed to hunt down several games in the wild. Then again its most rivaled animal is the gazelle which tends to get the better of the cheetah. Take note that the Cheetah’s base speed is merely half of its full speed. When it starts to accelerate especially when it’s on the hunt its speed reaches the 120 km/h rate.
5. The Peregrine Falcon
The peregrine falcon flies for as fast as 389 km/h or 242 mph. It’s arguably the fastest animal to date despite it being a bird. It is a bit surprising how the peregrine falcon isn’t as popular but its speed so far is unmatched.
The peregrine falcon has no definite place of origin other than it being theorized to be in America. Today, the peregrine falcon can be seen in different habitats all over the world. They are more abundant in cold regions such as the northern parts of Canada as well as the icy regions of the Antarctic. The peregrine falcon is a carnivore that eats like what its fellow falcons eat such as small mice or fish.
Speed is definitely a key element for survival in the animal kingdom. Whether the animals use speed for hunting or escaping, it can very much determine their status in the chain.