The fastest animals in the world and their speed


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When we ask what is the fastest flying animal in the world, they will easily answer that the Peregrine falcon (Falco Peregrinus), it reaches 389 kilometers per hour. However, this speed is only achieved if it is plummeted, that is, it does a bit of a trap.

If we think of horizontal flight, maybe someone will answer that the fastest animal is the swift (Apus apus), because it reaches 116 kilometers per hour. But there is another animal that is never mentioned on these occasions, and that surpasses the swift.

I'm Batman

According to a recent study by researchers at the Max Planck Institute for Ornithology, in Radolfzell, Germany, the Brazilian tailless bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) is the fastest animal in horizontal flight, because it exceeds 160 kilometers per hour.

This extraordinary speed is achieved thanks to its aerodynamic shape and long wings, which compensates for the air resistance offered by your body. The fastest, apparently, are females, something even more surprising if we consider that barely weigh about 11 grams.

The fastest flying animal in the world is not the one you think

In the air

There are 3 basic types of displacement in the air:

  • The flight: the classic wingshake.
  • The planning: when they take advantage of the air currents or the propulsion that they already carry without the need to beat the wings.
  • The chopped: when they are dropped from the air in free fall. It is in this displacement when they reach their maximum speeds.

On the floor

In the terrestrial mode there is a great variety of movements:

  • Reptation: whose advance is by dragging, for example, that of the snake.
  • Wandering: the majority, whether biped-human-like quadruped - cheetahs or dogs.
  • Brachycion: It is a type of locomotion of certain primates that move through the branches using only arms and hands.
  • Jump: It can be used as the main form of movement, as in the case of the kangaroo, or simply as a resource, as in the case of frogs.
  • contraction and extension: in the case of worms they crawl through contractions of the body.

The fastest animals>

Beyond the mako shark that we have explained in the previous section, there are different fish that catch great speeds, much more than some of the animals in the previous list. That is why we have considered it necessary to make a separate list with the faster animals in the water:

  1. Pacific sailfish with 109 km / h
  2. Swordfish with 100 km / h
  3. Blue needle with 80 km / h
  4. Red tuna with 70 km / h
  5. Blue shark with 70 km / h

If you want to read more articles similar to The fastest animals in the world and their speed, we recommend that you enter our category of Wild Animals.

1. Peregrine Falcon

Cross the clouds in an impressive way. This majestic bird flies at an average speed of almost 100 km / hour. However, when you spot a dam on the mountain (for example, a mouse) it can reach no less than 360 km / hour. It has an enviable view and can fly faster than a Formula 1 car.

The number 2 on the list of fastest animals has the ability to get at a short distance of no less than 120 km / hour. This beautiful spotted fur cat is the fastest land predator there is. He lives in the Middle East and in the savannas of Africa. Too It has an incredible view and usually stalks its prey stealthily.

3. Sailfish

We now go to the aquatic environment where this fish moves at the same speed as the chita (about 110 km / hour). With a fairly characteristic body, since it has a long stinger-shaped beak, and a giant upper scale that earned it the nickname of “sail” because of its resemblance to that of ships, this fish can also change color to confuse to its prey.

4. Tiger beetle

In this case it is the fastest insect that exists, which will amaze you because it is small but a dangerous predator (hence the name "tiger"). As it goes so fast from here to there, must stop occasionally on the road to focus... Is that so quickly his eyes lose the landscape. It can reach no less than 2.5 meters per second.

5. Mako shark

We return to the sea to talk about this huge fish that crosses the waters at a speed of 124 km / hour when it is in full hunting task. It is known as "the ocean hawk" and is very dangerous for people, since they don't hesitate for a moment to jump on the fishing boats to get food.

This little colorful bird is very small but very fast. So much so that their wings almost never look so fast that they move. With only 10 cm in length, the hummingbird can fly no less than 100 km / hour. Another of the curiosities of this animal is that it is the only species that can fly backwards, remain motionless in the air or fly down (not in a dive like the hawk).

7. Swordfish

Also called Emperor or Gladiator, it can measure 4 meters and weigh 500 kg. It draws attention for its elongated beak (that's why the name "sword") and is part of this group of 10 faster animals because can reach 100 km / hour when nothing after a dam. It also has an aerodynamic fin that allows you to jump out of the water without problems.

8. Siberian tiger

No one can deny that felines are one of the most beautiful beings there is. And also the fastest! In this case the beautiful Siberian tiger reaches 90 km / hour. His record has an additional one, since he does it in the middle of the snow (where it is easier to sink). This tiger in turn is the largest of its kind and has a unique striped fur on each specimen, which is also marked on its skin.

9. Ostrich

The largest bird is also the fastest (the third to be more precise). Although it cannot fly and only walks on its two legs, this feathered and long-necked animal can run up to 70 km / hour and weigh 150 kg. With only 1 month of life ... Ostrich babies can now reach 55 km / hour. At any age they can maintain speed for long distances without getting tired or stopping.

10. Dragonfly

We finish the ranking of the 10 fastest animals with this insect with semi-transparent wings and elongated body that can fly up to 100 km / hour, although the average is 25 km / hour (which is very much for an animal of that size). They only live for a couple of weeks and perhaps it seems that they are going everywhere in a hurry.

Source of the images: Guillermo Fdez and Richard Bartz.

Optimal size

The theory, detailed in the magazine Nature ecology& Evolution, explain why Slender and medium animals are made to reach high speeds.

The model applies to all types of animals, from the fruit fly to the whales, and it can serve to predict the maximum speed of long-disappeared species, such as dinosaurs.

The bodies of fast animals, such as the cheetah, evolved primarily to hunt.

They have the optimum size to reach a maximum speed.

Accelerating requires a lot of energy, and muscles can only function at such intensity for a short period of time.

For this reason, an elephant can never beat a cheetah: the energy to accelerate (which involves anaerobic respiration) will run out before it can reach its maximum theoretical speed.

This information will allow scientists to better understand the ecology and behavior of species, including their diet, hunting habits, migration and partner search.