The fastest land animal is the Cheetah which has a recorded speed of 96–120 km/h (60–75 mph). The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird, and the fastest member of the animal kingdom with a speed of 389 km/h (242 mph). The fastest animal in the sea is the Black marlin, which has a recorded speed of 130 km/h (80 mph).
While comparing between various classes of animals, a different unit is used, body length per second. The fastest animal on earth, relative to body length, is the South Californian miteParatarsotomus macropalpis, which has a speed of 322 body lengths per second. The equivalent speed for a human running as fast as this mite would be 1,300 mph (2,092 km/h).
This is far in excess of the previous record holder, the Australian tiger beetleCicindela eburneola, the fastest insect in the world relative to body size, which has been recorded at 1.86 metres per second (4.2 mph) or 171 body lengths per second. The cheetah, the fastest land mammal, scores at only 16 body lengths per second.
The Cheetah can accelerate from 0 to 96.6 km/h (60.0 mph) in under three seconds, though endurance is limited: most Cheetahs run for only 60 seconds at a time. When sprinting, cheetahs spend more time in the air than on the ground.
The Pronghorn (American Antelope) is the fastest animal over long distances; it can run 56 km/h for 6 km (35 mph for 4 mi), 67 km/h for 1.6 km (42 mph for 1 mi), and 88.5 km/h for .8 km (55 mph for .5 mi).
The wildebeest, an antelope, exists as two species: the blue wildebeest and the black wildebeest. Both are extremely fast runners, which allows them to flee from predators. They are better at endurance running than at sprinting.
Lionesses are faster than males and can reach maximum speeds of 35 mph (57 km/h) in short distances of approximately 90 meters, and a top speed of 50 mph (80 km/h) for about 20 meters. Lions are very agile and have fast reflexes. Like other predators, they hunt sick prey. Their rate of success in hunting is greatest at night. Lions hunt buffalos, giraffes, warthogs, wildebeests and zebras, and sometimes various antelopes as opportunities present themselves.
When hunting, African wild dogs can sprint at 66 km/h (41 mph) in bursts, and they can maintain speeds of 56–60 km/h (35–37 mph) for up to 4.8 km (3 mi). Their targeted prey rarely escapes.
The comfortable hopping speed for a kangaroo is about 21–26 km/h (13–16 mph), but speeds of up to 71 km/h (44 mph) can be attained over short distances, while it can sustain a speed of 40 km/h (25 mph) for nearly 2 km (1.2 mi). The faster a kangaroo hops, the less energy it consumes (up to its cruising speed).
Common Dolphins are the fastest marine mammal. When reaching their top speed, they take very short breaths. As an example, Fin whales, which are much larger, can empty and refill their lungs in 2 seconds
The hyena can run up to 60 km/h (37 mph); some attribute this performance specifically to the spotted hyena. They use their speed to chase their prey, sometimes traveling 15 mi (24 km) in a single chase.
Usain Bolt set the 100 m world record at 9.58 seconds, which is about 10.44 meters/second (23.35 mph, 37.58 km/h). His fastest speed during that sprint was 12.42 meters/second (27.79 mph, 44.72 km/h) during the 60 m to 80 m interval. Compared to other land animals, humans are exceptionally capable of endurance, but exceptionally incapable of great speed.
The biologist John Hutchinson attempted to set a record for elephant speed in 2002 by organizing a race with 42 elephants. The fastest one reached 15 mph (24 km/h) on average during the sprint, which was due to the fact that he weighed only 3 tons (well below the average weight of an African elephant). For short periods of time, speeds as high as 25 mph (40 km/h) were attained by the same elephant.[clarification needed]
The Peregrine Falcon is the fastest bird, and the fastest member of the animal kingdom. When in its hunting dive, the stoop, it soars to a great height, then dives steeply at speeds of over 200 mph. However, it does not hold first place when travelling in level flight.
The ostrich is the tallest and heaviest species of all living birds. Although its bulky body means that flying is out of the question, the ostrich has adapted to life on the ground with impressive agility. Ostriches are superb runners that can sprint at speeds of up to 45 mph (72 km/h) on average, with a peak 60 mph (97 km/h) during short periods, with 12 foot strides. This also makes the ostrich the fastest animal on two legs. The ostrich is also an endurance runner and can jog at 30 mph (48 km/h) for as long as half an hour.
In a series of tests carried out in a fishing cam at Long Key, Florida, USA, sailfish swam and leapt 91 meters in 3 seconds, equivalent to a speed of 109 km/h., although this speed includes leaps out of the water, which do not strictly qualify as swimming speed.
The 60 mph figure listed for the swordfish is based on a corrupted version of calculations made by Sir James Gray to estimate the impact speed necessary for a hypothetical 600-lb swordfish to embed its sword 3 feet in the timbers of ships, as has been known to occur; the figure seems to have entered the literature without question as though someone had actually timed a swordfish at that speed.
0.7 mm long mite endemic to Southern California, tracked at running up to 322 body lengths per second, equivalent to a human running at around 2,100 km/h. It can stand temperatures of 60 °C, which are lethal to many animals.
^Different sources cite different speeds; estimates include 96–120 km/h (60–75 mph), 98 km/h (61 mph), 100 km/h (62 mph), 104 km/h (65 mph), and 104.4 km/h (64.9 mph). There is a tendency to overestimate the speed of fast animals, and claims of the cheetah running 114 km/h (71 mph) or faster have been discredited.
^Estimates include 95 km/h (59 mph) and 96.6 km/h (60.0 mph).
^Estimates include "over 53 miles (86 kilometers) per hour", 88.5 km/h (55.0 mph), an "alleged top speed of 60 miles an hour [96.6 km/h]" (emphasis added), 98 km/h (61 mph), and "a top speed of about 100 km/hr [62 mph]" (emphasis added).
^ abFeldhamer, George A.; Bruce C., Thompson; Chapman, Joseph A., eds. (21 October 2003). Wild Mammals of North America: Biology, Management, and Conservation (2nd ed.). The Johns Hopkins University Press. pp. 65, 140, 909. ISBN0801874165.
^ abHamilton Jr, W. J. (1998). Mammals of the Eastern United States. Cornell University Press. pp. 76,147. ISBN9780801434754.