Top Ten Fastest Animals

Top Ten Fastest Animals

Fastest AnimalsPeregrine Falcon

       Survival of the fittest sometimes means survival of the fastest and when it comes to speed, these animals are tough to catch up with or worse, escape.

  1. Peregrine Falcon (200 MPH when diving)
    Peregrine FalconPeregrine Falcon1Peregrine Falcon2
    The Peregrine Falcon (Falco peregrinus), also known as the “Duck Hawk” in North America, is a cosmopolitan bird of prey in the family Falconidae. It is a large, crow-sized falcon, with a blue-gray back, barred white underparts, and a black head and “moustache.” It can reach speeds over 320 km/h (200 mph) in a stoop, making it the fastest creature on the planet. As is common with bird-eating raptors, the female is much bigger than the male. Experts recognize 17–19 subspecies, which vary in appearance and range; there is disagreement over whether the distinctive Barbary Falcon is a subspecies or a distinct species. The Peregrine’s breeding range includes land regions from the Arctic tundra to the Tropics. It can be found nearly everywhere on Earth, except extreme polar regions, very high mountains and most tropical rainforests; the only major ice-free landmass from which it is entirely absent is New Zealand. This makes it the world’s most widespread bird of prey. Both the English and scientific names of this species mean “wandering falcon,” referring to the migratory habits of many northern populations. While its diet consists almost exclusively of medium-sized birds, the Peregrine will occasionally hunt small mammals, small reptiles or even insects. It reaches sexual maturity at one year and mates for life. It nests in a scrape, normally on cliff edges or, in recent times, on tall human-made structures. The Peregrine Falcon became an endangered species in many areas due to the use of pesticides, especially DDT. Since the ban on DDT from the beginning of the 1970’s onwards, the populations recovered, supported by large scale protection of nesting places and releases to the wild.
    Links: Top 100 Birdshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peregrine_Falcon,
  2. Swift (106 MPH)
    SwiftSwift1
    The swifts are a family, Apodidae, of highly aerial birds. They are superficially similar to swallows but are actually not closely related to passerine species at all; swifts are in the separate order Apodiformes, which they share with the hummingbirds. The treeswifts are closely related to the true swifts, but form a separate family, the Hemiprocnidae. The resemblances between swifts and swallows are due to convergent evolution reflecting similar life styles based on catching insects in flight. The family scientific name comes from the Ancient Greek απους, apous, meaning “without feet,” since swifts have very short legs and never settle voluntarily on the ground, perching instead on vertical surfaces. The tradition of depicting swifts without feet continued into the Middle Ages, as seen in the heraldic martlet.
    Links: Top 100 Birdshttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Swift,
  3. Cheetah (75 MPH)

           The cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is a large-sized feline (family Felidae) inhabiting most of Africa and parts of the Middle East. The cheetah is the only extant member of the genus Acinonyx, most notable for modifications in the species’ paws. As such, it is the only felid with non-retractable claws and pads that, by their scope, disallow gripping (therefore cheetah cannot climb vertical trees, although they are generally capable of reaching easily accessible branches). The cheetah, however, achieves by far the fastest land speed of any living animal, between 112 and 120 km/h (70 and 75 mph) in short bursts covering distances up to 500 m (1,600 ft), and has the ability to accelerate from 0 to over 100 km/h (62 mph) in three seconds.
    Links: Top Ten Big Cats, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cheetah,
  4. Sailfish (70 MPH)
    SailfishSailfish1Sailfish2
    Sailfish are fish in the genus Istiophorus, living in warmer sections of all the oceans of the world. They are predominately blue to gray in color and have a characteristic erectile dorsal fin known as a sail, which often stretches the entire length of the back. Another notable characteristic is the elongated bill, resembling that of the swordfish and other marlins. They are therefore described as billfish in sport fishing circles.
    Links: Top 100 Fishhttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sailfish,
  5. Marlin (50 MPH)
    MarlinMarlin1
    Marlin is a fish from the family Istiophoridae. It has an elongated body, a spear-like snout or bill, and a long rigid dorsal fin which extends forward to form a crest. Its common name is thought to derive from its resemblance to a sailor’s marlinspike. Even more so than their close relatives, the scombrids, marlin are incredibly fast swimmers, reaching speeds of about 110 km per hour (68 mph). The larger species include the Atlantic blue marlin, Makaira nigricans, which can reach 5 m (16.4 ft) in length and 818 kg (1,800 lb) in weight and the black marlin, Istiompax indica, which can reach in excess of 5 m (16.4 ft) in length and 670 kg (1,500 lb) in weight.
    Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marlin,
  6. Pronghorn Antelope (61 MPH)
    Pronghorn Antelope, Cabin Lake Road, Fort Rock, OregonPronghorn Antelope1Pronghorn Antelope2
    The pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) is a species of artiodactyl mammal endemic to interior western and central North America. Though not an antelope, it is often known colloquially in North America as the prong buck, pronghorn antelope, or simply antelope, as it closely resembles the true antelopes of the Old World and fills a similar ecological niche due to convergent evolution. It is the only surviving member of the family Antilocapridae. During the Pleistocene period, 12 antilocaprid species existed in North America. About five existed when humans entered North America and all but A. americana are now extinct.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pronghorn_Antelope,
  7. Mako Shark (60 MPH)
    Shortfin Mako Shark 026
    Isurus is a genus of mackerel sharks in the family Lamnidae, commonly known as the mako sharks. There are two living species, the common shortfin mako shark (Isurus oxyrinchus) and the rare longfin mako shark (Isurus paucus), and several extinct species known from fossils. They range in length from 2.5 to 4.5 m (9 to 15 feet), and have an approximate maximum weight of 800 kg (1,750 lb). The family Lamnidae also includes sharks such as the great white shark and porbeagle. The mako shark is capable of swimming at speeds of up to 60 km/h, and jumping up to 7 m (24 ft) in the air.
    Links: Top Ten Sharks, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mako_shark,
  8. Thomson’s Gazelle (50 MPH)
    Thomson’s GazelleThomson’s Gazelle1Thomson’s Gazelle2
    The Thomson’s gazelle is one of the best-known gazelles. It is named after explorer Joseph Thomson and is sometimes referred to as a “tommie.” It is considered by some to be a subspecies of the red-fronted gazelle and was formerly considered a member of the genus Gazella within the subgenus Eudorcas, before Eudorcas was elevated to genus status. Thomson’s gazelles can be found in numbers exceeding 500 thousand in Africa and are recognized as the most common type of gazelle in East Africa.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thomson%27s_Gazelle,
  9. Wildebeest (50 MPH)
    Wilder Beastwilder beast migration in landscape Masi Mara in Kenya Africa wildlifeWilder Beast2
    The wildebeest, Dutch for “wild beast,” is an antelope of the genus Connochaetes. Connochaetes includes two species, both native to Africa: the black wildebeest, or white-tailed gnu (C. gnou), and the blue wildebeest, or brindled gnu (C. taurinus). Fossil records suggest these two species diverged about one million years ago, resulting in northern and southern species. The blue wildebeest changed very little from the ancestor species, while the black wildebeest took on more morphological changes to adapt to a habitat of open grassland in the south. Today, the blue wildebeest has five subspecies, while the black wildebeest has no named subspecies. In East Africa, the wildebeest is the most abundant big-game species, both in population and biomass.
    Links: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wilde_beast,
  10. African Lion (50 MPH)
    LionLion2
    The lion is one of the four big cats in the genus Panthera, and a member of the family Felidae. With some males exceeding 250 kg (550 lb) in weight, it is the second-largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions currently exist in Sub-Saharan Africa and in Asia with an endangered remnant population in Gir Forest National Park in India, having disappeared from North Africa and Southwest Asia in historic times. Until the late Pleistocene, about 10,000 years ago, the lion was the most widespread large land mammal after humans. They were found in most of Africa, across Eurasia from Western Europe to India, and in the Americas from the Yukon to Peru. The lion is a vulnerable species, having seen a possibly irreversible population decline of 30 to 50% over the past two decades in its African range. Lion populations are untenable outside designated reserves and national parks. Although the cause of the decline is not fully understood, habitat loss and conflicts with humans are currently the greatest causes of concern. Lions live for 10 to 14 years in the wild, while in captivity they can live longer than 20 years. In the wild, males seldom live longer than 10 years, as injuries sustained from continual fighting with rival males greatly reduce their longevity. Lions are unusually social compared to other cats. A pride of lions consists of related females and offspring and a small number of adult males. Groups of female lions typically hunt together, preying mostly on large ungulates. Lions are apex and keystone predators, although they scavenge as opportunity allows. Highly distinctive, the male lion is easily recognized by its mane, and its face is one of the most widely recognized animal symbols in human culture. Depictions have existed from the Upper Paleolithic period, with carvings and paintings from the Lascaux and Chauvet Caves, through virtually all ancient and medieval cultures where they once occurred. Lions have been kept in menageries since the time of the Roman Empire and have been a key species sought for exhibition in zoos the world over since the late 18th century.
    Links: Top Ten Big Cats, Top Ten Predators, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/African_lion,
  11. Killer Whale (48 MPH)
    Killer Whale
    The killer whale (Orcinus orca), also referred to as the orca whale or orca, is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family. Killer whales are found in all oceans, from the frigid Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas. Killer whales as a species have a diverse diet, although individual populations often specialize in particular types of prey. Some feed exclusively on fish, while others hunt marine mammals such as sea lions, seals, walruses, and even large whales. Killer whales are regarded as apex predators, lacking natural predators. Killer whales are highly social; some populations are composed of matrilineal family groups which are the most stable of any animal species. Their sophisticated hunting techniques and vocal behaviors, which are often specific to a particular group and passed across generations, have been described as manifestations of culture. In late 2005, the “southern resident” population of killer whales that inhabits British Columbia and Washington state waters were placed on the US Endangered Species list. Killer whales feature strongly in the mythologies of indigenous cultures, with their reputation ranging from being the souls of humans to merciless killers.
    Links: Top Ten Whales, Top Ten Predators,
  12. Links: Animals, Top Ten Fastest Humans, Top Ten Fastest Vehicles, Top 100 Films,