The Cheetah has long been recognized as the fastest land animal in the world reaching speeds upwards of 70mph. Following is a list of the Top 25 fastest land animals. Fortunately for humans, whose speed does not qualify for this list, we don't have to outrun any of these animals to survive.

1. Cheetah (Speed in mph :70 )

The cheetah is the fastest member of the cat family and is unique because what it lacks in climbing abilities it makes up for in speed and stealth. The cheetah is the fastest of all land animals and can reach speeds between 112 kilometres per hour (70 mph) and 120 kilometres per hour (75 mph) in short bursts up to 460 metres (500 yd). The cheetah's ability to accelerate is unmatched. The animal can easily accelerate from 0 to 110 kilometres per hour (68 mph) in three seconds, faster than most supercars.

2. Pronghorn Antelope (Speed in mph :61 )

The Pronghorn Antelope's exceptional speed is necessary in order to evade predators by outrunning them. The animal is considered to be the fastest animal in the new world. The top speed is very hard to measure accurately and it varies between individuals, however the animal has been clocked at 61mph. It is often cited as the second-fastest land animal with the Cheetah being the fastest. The animal can sustain these speeds much longer than a cheetah due to its larger heart and lungs. these animals are poor jumpers.

3. Wildebeest (Speed in mph :50 )

The Wildebeest is another animal that relies on its speed to evade predators. These animals are favorites of the big cats as they inhabit the plains and open woodlands of Africa. They are most plentiful in the Serengeti and can live more than 20 years.

4. Lion (Speed in mph :50 )

The king of bests doesn't often use his speed when hunting because the lioness does the majority of the hunting. Those Lions without a pride use clever stealth and speed to catch their prey. Males can exceed 550lbs, making it the second largest living cat after the tiger. Wild lions can only be found in sub-Saharan Africa, Asia and a small population in northwest India.

5. Thomson's Gazelle (Speed in mph :50 )

Named after explorer Joseph Thompson, the Thompson's Gazelle is one of the best known gazelles. In order to evade its main enemy, the cheetah, these animals can reach speeds of 50 mph, and can sustain longer bursts than their mortal enemy.

6. Quarterhorse (Speed in mph :47.5 )

The Quarter Horse is an exceptional sprinter deriving its name from its ability to out distance other horses in races of a quarter mile or less. The horse can achieve speeds upwards of 47 mph. This horse is the most popular breed with the United States with nearly 5 million horses registered worldwide.

7. Elk (Speed in mph :45 )

The elk is frequently considered to be the second largest species of deer in the world. It is also one of the largest mammals in North America and Easter Asia. The moose is the only animal larger. This is another animal that will use its speed to avoid predators, however due to its large size, many predators would rather not bother the animal.

8. Cape Hunting Dog (Speed in mph :45 )

These dogs use their cunning abilities and speed, while hunting in packs to focus on medium sized prey such as the impala. Sometimes, however these packs will bring down wildebeests and zebras. Their attack is coorinated and often starts with a stampede towards the pack. One dog will grab the victims tail, another the upper lip and the the remainder will disembowel the animal leaving it immobilized.

9. Coyote (Speed in mph :43 )

Coyotes use their speed to hunt small mammals such as rabbits, mice, squirrels, deer and live stock. The animal is highly carnivorous, however very versatile and will eat whatever is available depending on the season.

10. Gray Fox (Speed in mph :42 )

The gray fox is a solitary hunter that will eat meat and greens frequently. They use their speed and stealth to hunt rabbits, however also catch voles, mice, shrews and birds. The fox rounds out its diet with a generous helping of whatever fruits they find as well as vegetables.

The Rest

11. Hyena (Speed in mph :40 )

12. Zebra (Speed in mph :40 )

13. Mongolian Wild Ass (Speed in mph :40 )

14. Greyhound (Speed in mph :39.35 )

15. Whippet (Speed in mph :35.5 )

16. Rabbit (Speed in mph :35 )

17. Mule Deer (Speed in mph :35 )

18. Jackal (Speed in mph :35 )

19. Reindeer (Speed in mph :32 )

20. Giraffe (Speed in mph :32 )


Donovan Bailey

The top speed of humans was clocked at 27 mph by Olympic sprinters Michael Johnson and Donovan Bailey during their Olympic competitions. At top speed, which only lasts for very short bursts, the human ranks around number 30 and is preceded by the White Tailed Deer, the Wart Hog, the Grizzly Bear and the cat to name a few. It must be further noted that the average top speed of an in shape male human being is between 15-18 mph.

Michael Johnson on Right


5 years 42 weeks ago, 11:02 PM


ilovemyminirexCoco's picture

Secretary of State
Join Date:
Jan 2009

That's what I'm talkwin' about! Go bunnies!

5 years 30 weeks ago, 5:59 PM


cliff's picture

Join Date:
Apr 2009

Never mind puppy mills; each of those sad stories can be ended by forcing a thoughtless, greedy profiteer out of business, by law or by boycott.

But SELECTIVE BREEDING is more sinister in that its detrimental effects have built up over many generations, and because there is no groundswell of public opinion aimed at stopping the practice.

In fact, dog shows reward this unfortunate human behavior by grading dogs of registered breeds by the very criteria that result from crossing like with like -- i.e., inbreeding. Ever see a mutt win at Westminster?
My mutt-bitch is, by most folks' reckoning, much prettier than many of the grotesquely malformed specimens paraded out there. But without a fancy label, a plain ol' brown dog is denied entry.

The problem is that along with the desired traits perpetuated by selective breeding, attendant negative traits are inevitable. Dalmations are deaf, shepards have hip problems, certain breeds have bad heart valves, others are blind, etc.

The worst I've heard of -- I await confirmation of this rumor -- is the English bulldog. At the show, one scoring element is head size. Dogs who win came from the womb by Caesarian delivery, their heads being larger than their moms' pelvic girdle. "Bypassing Darwin" in this fashion causes this trait, which would never endure naturally, to be perpetuated. What a horrible price for a "beloved pet" mom bulldog to pay, just to satisfy the childish whims of a callous "dog lover"!

Even if this extreme example is pure fiction, it's undeniable that other negative traits DO INDEED come in package deals along with the desired, usually merely cosmetic traits.

MAKE IT STOP! Look up "hybrid vigor." Then go to the shelter and rescue a nice, healthy MUTT who has benefited from this natural process.

5 years 33 weeks ago, 2:16 AM


racer's picture

Join Date:
Mar 2009

I own two retired racing greyhounds. I am not sure where you obtained your data of 39.35 for the speed of greyhounds, but I believe it is in error. I personally have had both of my hounds clocked by a police A/B radar gun. One at 39.5mph and my other at 44mph. The faster of the two was retired due to a broken hock. You may want to also review your speed of the quarter horse, I dont believe they can go faster than about 43mph or so.

5 years 11 weeks ago, 11:51 AM


sk8teguy's picture

Join Date:
Aug 2009

This list is obviously wrong. I don't even have to argue it. Just ask yourself this one thing: Where is the tiger; surely the tiger is faster than a human... I am sure it is faster than a couple of the other animals at the bottom of the list as well, as they can run as fast as 35 mph, even though only for a short distance.

4 years 51 weeks ago, 3:53 PM


speedfan's picture

Join Date:
Nov 2009

I couldn't help but notice an error in the speed attributed to humans. Sadly, I think we're further down the list than your stats indicate. If you use Usain Bolt's world-record (at least at the time) 100-meter time of 9.69 seconds, that means the fastest human ever runs at 23.08 MPH, not 27
as the list states. I'm REALLY glad there aren't many occasions where we have to outrun animals!

4 years 49 weeks ago, 7:01 AM


jbennett23's picture

Join Date:
Nov 2009

That would be his average speed. His fastest speed (based on his his 10m splits) was 27.28mph.

4 years 36 weeks ago, 7:54 PM


deviousdavebrock's picture

Join Date:
Feb 2010

I clocked 168mph today so I win and Matt is gay.

4 years 18 weeks ago, 6:18 AM


India7121's picture

Join Date:
Jun 2010

Also forgot the kangaroo, which can go up to around 35mph

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