Animal Facts

Fastest Animal Facts

South African Cheetah
South African Cheetah

Introduction - Fastest Animals on Earth

What is the world's fastest animal? The animal that comes to most people's mind is the amazing cheetah; and indeed this animal can reach speeds, over short distances, faster than any other land animal. However the cheetah is not the fastest animal on earth; in fact it falls to number ten in our list of top 10 fastest animals on earth when you consider not only land animals but also include birds and fish. On this page of Interesting Animal Facts we list the top ten fastest animals on the earth with interesting kid-friendly facts about each. The information on this page includes where these animals live and how they are able to move so quickly. There will be links to more detailed pages about many of them.

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Top 10 Fastest Animals on Earth

  1. Peregrine Falcon (242 mph, 389 km/h) - The fastest animal in the world is the Peregrine Falcon. This bird, which is found in many places around the world, can dive at an amazing speed of over 200 mph (322 km/h). When hunting it will fly very high and when it spots prey it will dive steeply leaving little chance for is prey to escape.
  2. Golden eagle (150 - 200 mph, 241 - 322 km/h) - This bird is found in numerous countries in the Northern Hemisphere and prefer mountainous regions. Along with their incredibly quick diving speed, their huge size and sharp talons make them excellent hunters.
  3. Gyrfalcon (130 mph, 209 km/h) - this bird is the largest falcon on earth. It is mostly found along the arctic coast and islands in North America, Asia, and Europe.
  4. White-throated Needletail Swift (105 mph, 169 km/h) - this amazing bird also known as the spine-tailed swift or needle-tailed swift is the fastest bird in straight (non-diving) flight. These birds breed in Asia and southern Siberia and migrate to India, Southeast Asia and Australia in the winter.
  5. Eurasian hobby (100 mph, 161 km/h) - The hobby is a small fast falcon that can be found mostly in Asia, Africa, and Europe.
  6. Frigatebird (95 mph, 153 km/h) - Frigatebirds are a family of seabirds that have long wings, bills, and tails. They can be found near tropical and subtropical oceans.
  7. Spur-winged goose (88 mph, 141 km/h) - this bird's main habitat are wetlands in Africa. It is the largest goose in the the world.
  8. Red-breasted merganser (81 mph, 130 km/h) - this animal is a diving duck; which means it dives underwater to obtain food. This duck is mostly found in lakes and rivers in North America, Europe, and Greenland.
  9. Black marlin (80 mph, 129 km/h) - Found in tropical and subtropical regions of the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean it is the fastest fish in the world.
  10. Cheetah (70 - 75 mph, 113 - 121 km/h) - The Cheetah is the fastest land animal in the world. This amazing African animal can reach incredible speeds for short distances as it runs down its prey.