5 of the Fastest Animals on the Planet

You'll be impressed by the speeds these animals are capable of reaching! Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Hard to tell because the speed of the first one is similar!!!
5 of the Fastest Animals on the Planet

Last update: 01 March, 2023

They don’t go at the speed of light, but knowing how many kilometers per hour they’re capable of can impress anyone. Do you dare to discover which are the some of the fastest animals on the planet? We’ll tell you here!

Which are some of the fastest animals on the planet?

Whether they’re land, sea, water, or air, these are some of the fastest animals on the planet. Here is the definitive ranking so that you can admire their incredible abilities.

1. Peregrine falcon

As described by the specialist Maira Àngels Julivert in her book Birds of Prey (published in Spanish) the peregrine falcon is the best-known and the fastest. It can maintain a sustained flight at about 96 km/h in the air and, when it spots prey, it swoops and can reach 360 km/h.

In addition, there are records of peregrine falcons that have reached up to 390 km/h. For this reason, it occupies first place in the list of the fastest animals on the planet.

Fastest animals on the planet.

Its hunting method has captivated experts from all over the world. In fact, research carried out in 2019 by researchers from the University of Groningen (Netherlands) and the University of Oxford (UK) highlighted that its mechanism resembles a man-made projectile or missile. A risky method that requires great physical and cognitive skills.

2. The swift, one of the fastest animals on the planet

The swift is a bird that resembles the swallow in size and appearance, but this small animal is capable of reaching 170 to 200 km/h in flight. That’s why they’re so difficult for their predators to hunt.

Moreover, they’re able to keep flying non-stop for up to 20 months. This is the reason why they feed, breed, and sleep in the air, and only perch to lay eggs, incubate them, and raise their young.

3. The cheetah

It’s no wonder that the cheetah is on the list of the fastest animals in the world. It’s the fastest land mammal when running, and this feline reaches a speed of 120 km/h both in races and in short distances when hunting its prey.

4. Mako shark

The mako shark is considered the fastest shark in the world. For this reason, it is also known as the peregrine falcon of the sea, as it can reach 70 km/h.

As the following research published by the University of Baja California del Sur maintains, they are active, migratory and very fast sharks. In the summer and autumn months they are very weak, but in winter they recover their strength and in spring is the time when they reach their maximum speed.

Some experts have even detected 120 km/h when hunting. For this reason, it’s an extremely dangerous animal for humans, also due to its ability to jump out of the water and into fishing boats.

5. Sailfish

Aquatic animals continue the list of the fastest animals in the world with the Atlantic sailfish. It’s said to be the equivalent of the cheetah, but in water; it’s capable of reaching up to 109 km/h.

A sailfish.

Although it looks similar, it shouldn’t be confused with the swordfish. Neither is it very large. In fact, its dorsal fin makes it appear larger than it is to ward off predators, and this is also achieved because it’s able to subtly change color to scare them away.

Dizzying speeds by some of the fastest animals on the planet

Some of them can beat a Formula 1 car. These are animals that truly go at lightning speed. We hope you were impressed and got to know them in depth thanks to this article.


All cited sources were thoroughly reviewed by our team to ensure their quality, reliability, currency, and validity. The bibliography of this article was considered reliable and of academic or scientific accuracy.


  • Alanis-Hernández, Luis. (2017). Instinto de un cazador. El guepardo.. Herreriana. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/312549524_Instinto_de_un_cazador_El_guepardo
  • Bishop, SDH, Francis, MP, Duffy, C. y Montgomery, JC 2006. Edad, crecimiento, madurez, longevidad y mortalidad natural del tiburón marrajo dientuso (Isurus oxyrinchus) en aguas de Nueva Zelanda. Investigación marina y de agua dulce 57: 143-154.
  • Burnie, D. Enciclopedia ilustrada del reino animal. Susaeta [Kingfisher Publications Plc], 2000. ISBN 84-305-9931-2, p. 131.
  • Cailliet, GM, Cavanagh, RD, Kulka, DW, Stevens, JD, Soldo, A., Clo, S., Macias, D., Baum, J., Kohin, S., Duarte, A., Holtzhausen, JA, Acuña, E., Amorim, A. & Domingo, A. 2009. Isurus oxyrinchus. La Lista Roja de Especies Amenazadas de la UICN 2009: e.T39341A10207466.
  • Caira, JN y Bardos, T. (1996). Más información sobre Gymnorhynchus isuri (Trypanorhyncha: Gymnorhynchidae) del tiburón marrajo dientuso. JOURNAL-HELMINTHOLÓGICO SOCIETY WASHINGTON, 63, 188-192.
  • Dabbene Roberto (1917) Descripción: Los vencejos de la República Argentina. (n.d.). Universidad de Buenos Aires. Gob.ar. Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://repositoriosdigitales.mincyt.gob.ar/vufind/Record/BDUBAFCEN_a7824ef8504bec56133ef00da1a4cda8
  • Froese, R. & Pauly, D. (Editors). 2009. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (10/2009).
  • Isurus oxyrinchus. (2017, May 9). Florida Museum. https://www.floridamuseum.ufl.edu/discover-fish/species-profiles/isurus-oxyrinchus/
  • Julivert, M. À. (2013) Las Aves Rapaces. Parramón Paidotribo.
  • Maya Meneses, CI & Torres Rojas, YE & Galván-Magaña, F. & Aguiñiga Garcia, S. (2014). Traslapo trófico del tiburón azul (Prionace glauca) y tiburón mako (Isurus oxyrinchus) capturados en la costa occidental de Baja California Sur. En Libro de resúmenes, VI Simposio Nacional de Tiburones y Rayas, 07 al 12 de abril de 2014, Mazatlán, Sin: 40–44
  • Mills, Robin (2018) Extremely fast dives help peregrine falcons maneuver to catch agile prey. (n.d.). The University of Groningen Research Portal. Retrieved October 25, 2022, from https://research.rug.nl/en/clippings/extremely-fast-dives-help-peregrine-falcons-maneuver-to-catch-agi

This text is provided for informational purposes only and does not replace consultation with a professional. If in doubt, consult your specialist.