10 of the world’s fastest animals


A migratory species, this powerfully built little bird feeds on termites, ants, beetles, and other flies it catches in fight and consumes on the wing. It breeds in Central Asia and Siberia and tends to migrate to the warmer climes of India, Southeast Asia, and Australia during colder months.
4. The Mexican free-tailed bat is a speed freak
A cloud (yes that is the collective noun when in flight) of Mexican free-tail bats. dizfunkshinal/Wikimedia Commons
Record: Fastest mammal (horizontal flight)
Top speed: 99 mph (159 kph)
The Mexican free-tailed bat (Tadarida brasiliensis) is the fastest mammal on our list and appears to be a real speed freak. An aircraft tracking device has measured the species’ ground speed at a staggering 99 mph (160 kph). However, since the measurement methodology did not record wind speed and ground speed simultaneously, it’s possible that strong local gusts could have influenced the observations. Whatever the case, it’s still known to be a fast little sucker.
A medium-sized bat, this species is one of the most abundant mammals in North America and is very common in Louisiana, where it can be found in many cities. However, its tendency to roost in large numbers at only a few locations makes it vulnerable to habitat destruction despite its abundance.
5. The male horsefly will “gun it” for sex
The recordbreaking horsefly “in the flesh.” Relax. I’m an Entomologist/Facebook
Record: Fastest insect
Top speed: 90 mph (145 kph)
While the female horsefly (Hybomitra hinei wrighti) is the only one that bites for blood, the male is a real recordbreaker (but only under certain circumstances). Clocked at around 90 mph (145 kph) during a unique experiment, this insect might be the fastest invertebrate alive today.
The credit for calculating the speed of the male horsefly goes to Jerry Butler, an entomologist at the University of Florida. He conducted an experiment where he induced a male horsefly to chase a plastic pellet fired from an air rifle. The fly caught the pellet in midair and dropped it. Butler calculated that the fly must have been faster than the pellet in order to catch up with what it “thought” was a female.
6. The black marlin is the fastest fish
The black marlin is a real natural treasure. IGFA
Record: Fastest fish
Top speed: 80 mph (129 kph)
Skipping on to a few other speed record-making creatures (purely to keep things interesting), the black marlin is another speedy animal. It is one of, if not the, fastest fish on Earth, capable of reaching speeds up to 80 mph (129 kph). Additionally, it is one of the largest bony fish.


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