Top 10 Fastest Land Animals in the World

Animals’ urge for speed is linked to the survival from the perspective of evolution. Species that are vulnerable to attackers evolved to sprint at greater speeds in order to get away from them. Some animals have developed remarkably fast speeds as a result of the evolution.

The speed is one of the most fascinating aspects of the animal kingdom. It has evolved throughout millennia of time, giving numerous life forms the ability to survive and even flourish in their particular setting. The natural environment is home to a wide variety of exceptional sprinters, either it is across heart-stopping pursuits throughout vast savannas or swift sprints through deep forests. Being the fastest terrestrial animals in the world, animals have evolved to grow into specialists of lightning speed.

Top 10 Fastest Land Animals in the World
Top 10 Fastest Land Animals in the World

Although few of the fastest creatures hop, most run on four legs. The highest speeds of these creatures are astounding, yet they are frequently limited to small distances. It can be challenging to find out an animal’s exact land speed. We’ve looked far and wide for credible, validated sources and research in order to provide you with the most accurate list of the top 10 fastest land animals on Earth.

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Top 10 Fastest Land Animals in the World

Here, in this article we are going to take a brief look into the top 10 fastest land animals in the world. This list might not be accurate as some individual animals could sprint in higher speed compared to other in the same species. Let’s dive into the Top 10 Fastest Land Animals in the World.

10. Kangaroo

The Macropodidae family of marsupials, which includes kangaroos, is referred to as a “large foot” family. The word is commonly used to refer to the largest member of this family, the red kangaroo, as well as the eastern grey, western grey, and antilopine kangaroos. Australia and New Guinea are home to the kangaroo.

Among large mammals, kangaroos are the only ones that primarily move around by hopping on both of their legs. While a hopping, the weaker plantaris muscle—which attaches near the huge fourth toe—is utilized for acceleration, whereas the stronger gastrocnemius muscle is used to raise the upper body from the ground. The flexible tendons comprise 70% of the potential energy. Kangaroos are able to jump six feet high and as far as 25 feet in a single hop.

  • Normal Speed: 20 – 25 km/h (12 – 16 mph)
  • Short Distance Speed: 70 km/h (43 mph)
  • Habitat: Australia and New Guinea
[Image source:]

Due to the harsh, arid environment and erratic weather, kangaroos have evolved a variety of adaptations. A kangaroo’s tail functions as a third leg in addition to its normal function as a balancing strut, according to recent studies. Kangaroos walk in a distinctive three stages: they plant their front legs and tail first, then push off their tail, and then plant their back legs. Unlike sheep and cattle, kangaroos have a single chambered stomach as opposed to four chambers. While all kangaroo species are strictly herbivorous animals their dietary habits vary. For thousands of years, native Australians have relied on kangaroos as a food source. Meat from kangaroos is low in fat (approximately 2%) and high in protein.

9. African Wild Dog

Wild dogs native to sub-Saharan Africa are called African wild dogs (Lycaon pictus), commonly referred to as painted dogs or Cape hunting dogs. It is the only living species of the genus Lycaon and the biggest wild dog in Africa.

Unlike most canids, the African wild dog features fur that is entirely made up of strong bristle-hairs without any underfur. As they get older, adults begin to shed their fur, until they are practically bare. Extreme color diversity may help with visual identification because African wild canines can distinguish one another at 50–100 m (160–330 ft.) distances. The color of the fur differs considerably based on the geography; those from northeastern Africa are typically black with a few white or yellow patches, whilst those from southern Africa have more vibrant coats combining brown, black, and white.

  • Normal Speed: 56 – 60 km/h (35 – 37 mph)
  • Short Distance Speed: 71 km/h (44 mph)
  • Habitat: Southern and Eastern Africa

Since, African wild dogs have stronger social ties compared to sympatric lions and spotted hyenas, it is quite uncommon for them to live alone or go hunting. It has permanent groups that include two to 27 adults and puppies who are yearlings. Separate dominance hierarchies exist for males and females, with the eldest female typically leading the latter.

The African wild dog is a skilled pack hunter that targets common medium-sized antelopes. African wild dogs hunt by discreetly approaching their victim and pursuing it for 10 to 60 minutes at speeds of up to 66 km/h (41 mph). The typical chase lasts around 2 km (1.2 mi), during which the larger target animal is repeatedly bitten on the belly, rump, and legs until it lays down.

8. Greyhound

The English Greyhound, sometimes known as the Greyhound, is a sighthound breed which was originally bred for hunting, greyhound racing, and coursing. The retired racing Greyhound breed has experienced a boom in popularity as a family pet following their widespread adoption. A greyhound is a tall, muscular, “S-shaped,” smooth-coated sighthound with a long tail and robust feet. As pets, greyhounds thrive best in calm environments. As long as the kids are trained to treat the dog with manners and respect, they do well in households with young children. Given their sensitive temperament, greyhounds respond best to gentle instructions when they are being trained.

  • Normal Speed: n/a
  • Short Distance Speed: 77 km/h (47 mph)
  • Habitat: Global
Greyhound [Image source:]

Greyhounds, sometimes referred to as “Velcro dogs,” are noted for being friendly, joyful, and sociable around humans. They even appear to enjoy human contact and will follow their owners around the house.

Greyhounds have been known to engage in prey-driven behavior toward small animals, especially cats. The Greyhound can reach average race speeds of almost 64 kilometers per hour (40 mph) due to its long, muscular legs, deep chest, flexible spine, and slender frame. Compared to other breeds, greyhounds have higher concentrations of red blood cells. This increased level enables the hound to transfer greater amounts of oxygen from the lungs to the muscles more quickly because red blood cells transport oxygen to the muscles. A racing greyhound can travel at least 21.3 m/s at its maximum pace.

7. Brown Hare

The brown hare, or European hare (Lepus europaeus), is a species of hare indigenous to parts of Asia and Europe. Hares are silent and nocturnal creatures by nature, however in the spring they become more gregarious and can be seen running on fields in broad daylight. It hides during the day in a partially covered area of the ground known as a “form.” They occasionally hit each other with their paws (“boxing”) during this springtime madness.

The primary habitat of the European hare is wide fields with strewn-about vegetation for cover. It thrives well in a range of farmlands and is highly adaptive. Throughout Europe, hares have been hunted for ages, with over five million being killed annually; in Britain.

  • Normal Speed: n/a
  • Short Distance Speed: 80 km/h (50 mph)
  • Habitat: Europe and Asia
Brown Hare
Brown Hare [Image source:]

The back of the hare has grizzled yellow-brown fur, while the shoulders, legs, neck, and throat have rufous fur. The underside of the hare is white, and the tail and tips of the ears are black. In general, when compared to the rest of the body, the fur on the backside is longer and more curly.

Unlike some other members of the species, the fur of the European hare does not become totally white during the winter months; however, it may develop white patches on the sides of the head and base of the ears, and it may also get some grey around the hips and rump. Instead of digging a tunnel, the female builds her nest in a dip in the ground, and the young begin to move as soon as they are born. Litters may contain three or four young, and a female can have three litters each year, with hares living for up to twelve years.

The breeding season runs from January to August. They consume leaves, wood bark, stems, grass, fruit, and vegetables. They normally live alone or in pairs.

6. Blackbuck

The blackbuck (Antilope cervicapra), commonly known as the Indian antelope, is a medium-sized antelope indigenous to India and Nepal. It lives in grassy plains and areas with light forests that have access to water all year round. The black stripes on the face stand out sharply against the white fur surrounding the eyes and on the chin. The coats of both sexes have two tones; males have mostly dark brown to black body with white around the eyes, ears, and tail, and white around the belly, lower jaw, and inner legs.

With more of a brownish tone than the males, the females and youngsters exhibit the same white regions and are yellowish-fawn to overall tanned color. Daytime hours are when the blackbuck is most active.

  • Normal Speed: n/a
  • Short Distance Speed: 80 km/h (50 mph)
  • Habitat: India and Nepal

Being a herbivore, blackbucks sometimes forage in addition to grazing on short grasses. It favors live oak, mesquite, fall witch-grass, and sedges. At eight months of age, females reach sexual maturity; nonetheless, they can mate no sooner than two years of age. Males take 1.5 years to reach maturity. Matrimony occurs all year long. A single calf is born at the end of the six-month gestation period. Usually, blackbucks live for ten to fifteen years. Blackbuck populations drastically decreased in the 20th century as a result of overhunting, deforestation, and habitat degradation.

5. Lion

The lion (Panthera leo) is a huge cat of the Panthera genus that is native to Africa and India. It has a short, rounded head, round ears, a hairy fluff at the tip of its tail, with a robust, broad-chested body. Adult male lions are larger compared to females and have a distinct mane, indicating sexual dimorphism. Being a social creature, it forms prides, or groups. A pride of lions is made up of cubs, related females, and a couple of adult males.

The lion lives in shrublands, savannahs, and grasslands. Generally speaking, it is more nocturnal than other wild cats, but when it is under threat, it becomes more active at dusk and at night. Light buff, silvery grey, yellowish red, and dark brown are the different shades of fur. The colors of the underparts are typically lighter. A newborn lion has dark markings that diminish as the cub grows older, though faint marks may still be visible on the legs and underparts.

  • Normal Speed: n/a
  • Short Distance Speed: 80 km/h (50 mph)
  • Habitat: Africa and India

Lions sleep for almost twenty hours a day; this is a significant part of their daily routine. While they can be active at any time of day, lions tend to be most active after sunset when they groom, socialize, and defecate. Because of its diverse prey base, the lion is considered a top and fundamental predator. Its major prey are ungulates, specifically blue wildebeest, plains zebra, African buffalo, common warthog, gemsbok, and giraffe.

Chital and sambar deer are the most prevalent wild prey in India, whereas livestock accounts for a considerable portion of lion killings outside protected areas. They typically avoid fully grown adult elephants, rhinoceroses, and hippopotamus, as well as small prey such as dik-dik, hyraxes, hares, and monkeys.

4. Wildebeest

Wildebeest, commonly known as gnu, are antelopes of the Connochaetes genus that are native to Eastern and Southern Africa. There are two types of wildebeest: black wildebeest and blue wildebeest. According to fossil records, these two species separated around one million years ago, giving rise to a northern and southern species.

While the black wildebeest underwent greater changes in order to adapt to its wide grasslands habitat in the south, the blue wildebeest continued inside its original territory and showed very little alteration from the ancestral species. Both species of wildebeest are even-toed, horned, greyish-brown ungulates that resemble cattle. Males are larger than females, and both have heavier forequarters relative to hindquarters. They have large muzzles, Roman noses, and shaggy manes and tails. The most noticeable morphological distinctions between black and blue wildebeest are the position and curvature of their horns, as well as the color of their coats.

  • Normal Speed: n/a
  • Short Distance Speed: 80 km/h (50 mph)
  • Habitat: Africa and India

The lion, hyena, African wild dog, cheetah, leopard, and Nile crocodile are major predators of wildebeest, and they appear to prefer wildebeest above other prey. Wildebeest, on the other hand, are extremely strong and can cause significant injury to lions. Wildebeest have a top sprint speed of about 80 km/h (50 mph). Herding is the principal defense method, in which the younger animals are sheltered by the older, larger ones while the herd moves together. Typically, predators seek out an infant or wounded animal so that they can attack without worrying about the entire herd. Wildebeest have evolved more sophisticated cooperative behaviors, such as taking turns resting while others defend against a nocturnal attack by invading predators.

3. Springbuck/Springbok

The springbuck or springbok (Antidorcas marsupialis) is a type of antelope found primarily in South and Southwest Africa. Springbucks are slender antelopes with long legs and elongated necks. They’re distinguished by dark stripes that go over the white face, past the corner of the eyes to the mouth. Adults have dark patch marks on their foreheads. Juvenile markings and patches are light brown. The ears are small and pointed, measuring 15-19 cm (5.9-7.5 in).

The springbuck, which is usually light brown, has a dark reddish-brown stripe that divides the dark back from the white underbelly and runs horizontally from the upper foreleg to the edge of the buttocks. The tail (with the exception of the tip of the black tuft), buttocks, insides of the legs, and rump are completely white.

  • Normal Speed: n/a
  • Short Distance Speed: 88 km/h (55 mph)
  • Habitat: South and Southwestern Africa

Springbuck form groups (mixed-sex herds) and are particularly active around dawn and sunset. Historically, springbok from the Kalahari desert and Karoo moved in huge groups throughout the countryside, in a phenomenon known as trekbokking. The springbok has a strange but not uncommon trait known as pronking, in which it executes numerous leaps into the air, up to 2 m (6.6 ft.) above the ground, in a stiff-legged posture with the back bowed and the white flap elevated.

The springbok is mostly a walker, feeding on bushes and succulents; this antelope may go years without drinking water, fulfilling its needs by eating succulent flora. Breeding happens throughout the year and surges during the rainy season, when feed is most abundant. A single calf is born during a five- to six-month pregnancy; weaning happens at about six months of age.

2. Pronghorn

The pronghorn (Antilocapra americana) is an artiodactyl (even-toed, hoofed) mammal native to inland western and central North America. Despite not being an antelope, it is commonly referred to in North America as the American antelope, prong buck, pronghorn antelope, and prairie antelope. The giraffe and okapi are the nearest surviving relatives of the pronghorn. The pronghorn is the Americas’ swiftest land animal.

Pronghorns have unique white fur covering their rumps, flanks, breasts, bellies, and throats. They have extremely huge eyes with a 320° field of view. Each pronghorn horn is made up of a narrow, laterally flattened blade of bone that is assumed to originate from the frontal bones of the skull or the subcutaneous tissues of the scalp, establishing a permanent core. Males are further distinguished from females by a little patch of black hair at the angle of the jaw. Pronghorns emit a unique, musky odor. Males mark territory using a preorbital scent gland located on the sides of head.

  • Normal Speed: 56 km/h (35mph)
  • Short Distance Speed: 98 km/h (61 mph)
  • Habitat: Western and Central North America

The pronghorn has a wide windpipe, heart, and lungs in comparison to its body size, allowing it to take in a lot of air while sprinting. Pronghorns set up mixed-gender herds in the winter. The herds split up in early spring, with young males establishing bachelor groups, females creating harems, and adult males living on their own. Male adults either guard a harem of females or guard an area that females are free to enter.

Pronghorns take longer to mature than other ungulates in North America, ranging from 7 to 8 months. Mid-September is when they breed, and the doe gives birth to her fawn in late May. In comparison to the white-tailed deer, the gestation period is approximately six weeks longer.

1. Cheetah

Cheetahs (Acinonyx jubatus) are huge cats that are the fastest terrestrial animals. Its fur is light buff or tawny with creamy white or pale white patches distributed evenly apart. With a short nose and black facial streaks that resemble tears, the head is round and tiny. It inhabits a range of environments, including hilly desert regions, arid mountain ranges in the Sahara, and savannahs in the Serengeti. The cheetah inhabits three primary social groups: lone males, females and their cubs, and male “coalitions”. Males maintain significantly smaller territories in regions with plenty of prey and access to females, while females lead a nomadic life seeking for prey in broad home ranges.

  • Normal Speed: 80 km/h (50mph)
  • Short Distance Speed: 1288 km/h (80 mph)
  • Habitat: Eastern and Southern Africa
Cheetah [Image source:]

Throughout the day, cheetah activity peaks at dawn and twilight. It typically consumes small- to medium-sized prey under 40 kg (88 lb), with a preference for medium-sized ungulates like Thomson’s gazelles, impala, and springbok. The cheetah usually follows the target for 60 to 100 meters (200 to 330 feet) before jumping at it, tripping it while pursuing, and biting its neck to kill it. It reproduces throughout the year. After approximately three months of gestation, females give birth to three or four cubs. Cheetah cubs are extremely vulnerable to predation from other large animals.


Most of these speeds are based on researches done by some individuals and it does not imply the accuracy of speeds on every individual animals of the species. There are other different factors that can impact of the speeds such as migration, hunting, or trying to get away from potential predators. Some individual can sprint faster and achieve higher speeds than others. Who knows researchers out there may find out some new exciting information in near future.

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Jyoti Bashyal

Jyoti Bashyal, a graduate of the Central Department of Chemistry, is an avid explorer of the molecular realm. Fueled by her fascination with chemical reactions and natural compounds, she navigates her field's complexities with precision and passion. Outside the lab, Jyoti is dedicated to making science accessible to all. She aspires to deepen audiences' understanding of the wonders of various scientific subjects and their impact on the world by sharing them with a wide range of readers through her writing.

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