Speed of Animals

Updated June 26, 2019 | Infoplease Staff

Most of the following measurements are for maximum speeds over approximate quarter-mile distances. Exceptions—which are included to give a wide range of animals—are the lion and elephant, whose speeds were clocked in the act of charging; the whippet, which was timed over a 200-yard course; the cheetah over a 100-yard distance; humans for a 15-yard segment of a 100-yard run; and the black mamba snake, six-lined race runner, spider, giant tortoise, three-toed sloth, and garden snail, which were measured over various small distances.

Animal Speed
Peregrine falcon200.00+
Cheetah 70.00
Pronghorn antelope 61.00
Lion 50.00
Thomson's gazelle 50.00
Wildebeest 50.00
Quarter horse 47.50
Cape hunting dog 45.00
Elk 45.00
Coyote 43.00
Gray fox 42.00
Hyena 40.00
Zebra 40.00
Mongolian wild ass 40.00
Greyhound 39.35
Whippet 35.50
Jackal 35.00
Mule deer 35.00
Rabbit (domestic) 35.00
Giraffe 32.00
Reindeer 32.00
Cat (domestic) 30.00
Grizzly bear 30.00
Wart hog 30.00
White-tailed deer 30.00
Human 27.89
Elephant 25.00
Black mamba snake 20.00
Six-lined race runner 18.00
Squirrel 12.00
Pig (domestic) 11.00
Chicken 9.00
House mouse8.00
Spider (Tegenearia atrica) 1.17
Giant tortoise 0.17
Three-toed sloth 0.15
Garden snail 0.03
Source: Natural History Magazine, March 1974, copyright 1974; The American Museum of Natural History; and James G. Doherty, general curator, The Wildlife Conservation Society.

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