The Fastest Animals on Earth
Here is an unusual list of the Fastest Animals and there won’t be a cheetah in sight! In order to survive, an organism is likely to have at least one skill that it can perform better than any other creature, or will become perfectly suited to a particular way of life. With this in mind, we’ll take a look at some animals whose ability to use unusual parts of their body with great speed gives them an edge. Think of it as a mostly alternative list of the fastest animals.
Found worldwide, peregrine falcons are efficient hunting machines, and among the fastest creatures on Earth. They can reach speeds of 200 miles per hour when on the trail of another bird – and they’re large enough to prey on rooks, magpies, hooded crows and jackdaws.
Giant Palm Salamander
Like most hummingbirds, Anna’s hummingbirds flap their wings at an incredible 50 times a second. This is quick enough that the human eye cannot perceive the individual beats. This is made possible because of their small body size, fast heart rate and high body temperature. But the downside to this specialised lifestyle is that they must consequently feed once every ten minutes or so throughout the day.
Dragonflies are among the fastest insects known, with the common green Darner dragonfly clocking in at an astonishing 100 kilometres per hour. Even more common members of the order Odonata, the most ancient group of flying insects, tend to reach speeds of about 50 kilometres per hour. All four of their wings can move semi-independently, allowing them levels of agility unknown to other insects – they can reverse, hover in place or change direction in midair. This suits their natural history, as their niche is that of an extremely specialised predator.