In the wild, speed is one of the most important means of survival. If you happen to be one of the slowest animals in the world, then you have to be smart enough to outwit your predators. As such, the fastest animals in the world have a distinct advantage. These include the fastest animals in water, the fastest animal in air and the fastest animals on land. Today’s list is going to focus on the 25 fastest land animals.
The giraffe is the tallest living mammal on land and the largest ruminant. They are easy to recognize due to their really long necks, the puzzle like prints on their pelt and their outrageously long legs. But don’t let their size and awkward shape fool you; these gentle giants can still reach speeds of up to 32mph.
Bears are often romanticized as being gentle and cuddly, but bears like the grizzly are anything but that. In fact, they can be quite ferocious and downright deadly when protecting their cubs and/or pursuing their next meal. Despite their sheer size, bears on average can reach speeds of up to 34.8 mph (56 kph).
A popular canine predators in the wild specifically in some parts of Africa and south central Eurasia; the jackal is closely related to wolves, dogs and coyotes. Not surprising, they are capable of reaching speeds of up to 35 mph (56 kph).
These mammals are native to western North America but have been in later years introduced in Argentina. Their primary predators include mountain lions and bobcats, two exceptionally deadly hunters. It’s a good thing the Mule deer can reach speeds of up to 35 mph (56 kph), a speed it uses to outrun its predators.
The Whippet (also known as English Whippet or Snap dog) is a descendant of the fastest dog on earth. Though its a smaller sight hound breed, It has the ability to zoom away at 35 mph (56 kph) using a double suspension gallop.
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Mongolian Wild Ass
This endangered member of the genus Equus is a native of East Asia, particularly Mongolia and Northern China and can run up to 40 mph (64 kph).
The black and white stripes on a Zebra’s pelt has inspired not only the fashion and art world but even the color of the seats of Mbombela Stadium; one of South Africa’s most eye catching infrastructures. As a member of the African equids, they can run as fast as 40 mph (64 kph) and can outrun most of their predators.
Hyenas have always been known for the their vocalizations; such as their chattering laugh, yells and giggles, earning them the nickname “laughing hyenas”. But the laughter and giggles are not synonymous to fun or comedy. Rather, the laughter is more of a nervous laugh and is indicative of agitation and alarm. You don’t want to alarm these guys for not only do they possess the strongest jaws in proportion to body size in the mammal kingdom, they can also run at 40 mph (64 kph)…that’s right, it can run faster than you.
Named after Joseph Thomson; a Scottish geologist and explorer, this gazelle is one of the most well known subspecies with a population that exceeds 500 thousand. Grazing in the Serengeti region of Kenya and Tanzania, it can evade predators at a speed of 40.4 mph (65 kph) and perhaps even faster.
There are only 2 living members of the genus Urocyon, the Channel Island fox and the gray fox. Because of man’s fervor for advancement, the gray fox (considered one of the most primitive of the living canids) has been outnumbered by the red fox. Grey foxes can run up to 42 mph (67.5 kph) and is able to climb trees to evade predators.
The second domesticated animal on the list; the greyhound used to be primarily bred for racing, but is now more popular as a family pet. This sight-hound can speed up to 43 mph (69 kph) within 30 m and bound at almost 20 mps for the race’s first 250 meters. This breed is second to the fastest animal on land, the cheetah in terms of accelerating over a short distance.
A member of the genus Equus along with horses, donkeys, mule, etc., it can run at speeds up to 43 mph (69 kph).
Also known as the American jackal; the coyote can reach speeds of up to 43 mph (69 kph) and can devour almost anything from small mammals to insects to your pets.
The fastest bird on land clocking at 43.5 mph (70 kph) is also the largest living species of bird in the world and also lays the largest eggs.
These guys can hop at speeds of up to 44 mph (71 kph) and maintain that speed for 1.2 miles (2 km). The faster it hops the lesser energy it consumes.
Cape Hunting Dog
It looks like a hyena but it’s not. The Cape Hunting Dog is called by several other names like ornate wolf and painted dog and can reach speeds of up to 45 mph (72 kph).
Don’t let its size fool you, the second largest species of deer, the elk or wapiti can reach speeds of up to 45 mph (72 kph).
Remember that fable about the hare and the tortoise? Even though it’s just a fable, there’s truth to how fast a jackrabbit can run. These little guys can outrun their predators at 45 mph (72 kph) through a combination of leaps and zigzags. It can even leap an impressive 3 m (9.8 ft) in one bound.
These mighty felines are the second largest living cat and can reach maximum speeds of up to 50 mph (80 kph).
Native to the Indian continent, this antelope has been classified as near threatened by the International Union for Conservation of Nature and is also the last of its species in the genus Antilope. Clocking at 50 mph (80 kph), these antelopes are hunted by feral cats and wolves.
Wildebeest, also known as gnu, looks larger and slower than the usual antelope yet it can reach top speeds of up to 50 mph (80 kph).
These guys have been clocked at 55 mph (88 kph).
The Springbok can reach speeds of up to 62 mph (100 kph).
There really isn’t an accurate measurement of the pronghorn antelope’s top speed but it has been clocked at 61 mph (98 kph) with indications that it can actually run faster. Being that it has larger vital organs such as the lungs and heart, it can sustain this lightning speed longer than the cheetah. However…
The cheetah is the fastest animal on land and is able to reach speeds of up to 70 mph (112 kmph). The cheetah can cover distances up to 500 m and can accelerate from 0 to 62 mph in five seconds (better than most sports cars).