10 Amazing Animals Faster Than A Cheetah

Written by Jennifer Gaeng
Published: September 24, 2022
© JonathanC Photography/Shutterstock.com
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Fastest Cats - Cheetah
Cheetahs are the planet’s fastest land animal is built for super speed, rather than stamina.

©Maros Bauer/Shutterstock.com

In terms of ground speed, the cheetah is unrivaled. A cheetah can reach speeds of 69–75 miles per hour. Unfortunately, the cat’s sprinting distance is only about 0.28 miles. Comparatively, a cheetah is around 2.7 times faster than the quickest human runner. The cheetah’s rapid acceleration allows it to quickly close the gap and catch its prey. In contrast, there are species, primarily birds, which can reach top speeds greater than those of the Cheetah. This piece will discuss 10 creatures that are faster than a Cheetah!

Faster Animals than A CheetahSpeed
Peregrine Falcon242 mph
Golden Eagle150–200 mph
White-Throated Needletail Swift105 mph
Eurasian Hobby100 mph
Mexican Free-Tailed Bat100 mph
Frigatebird95 mph
Rock Dove (Pigeon)92.5 mph
Spur-Winged Goose88 mph
Gyrfalcon80 mph
Grey-Headed Albatross79 mph
Faster Animals than A Cheetah

Peregrine Falcon

A Peregrine Falcon with spread wings flying
The peregrine falcon may reach speeds of nearly 200 miles per hour.

©Harry Collins Photography/Shutterstock.com

The Peregrine falcon holds the record for fastest flying animal and fastest animal in the animal kingdom. The peregrine falcon’s fastest speed is not reached during a straight-and-level flight but rather during its signature hunting stoop or vertical flight. The peregrine falcon may reach speeds of nearly 200 miles per hour (320 kilometers per hour) during a stooping dive.

Golden Eagle

Fastest Birds in the World: Golden Eagle
When in flight, a Golden Eagle can achieve speeds of around 32 miles per hour.

©MehmetO/Shutterstock.com

When in flight, a Golden Eagle can achieve speeds of around 32 miles per hour, which is rather astounding. They are already astonishingly swift, but when they’re on the hunt they reach new heights of speed. These beautiful birds have been clocked gliding at 120 miles per hour while diving at 150 miles per hour in pursuit of their prey!

The White-Throated Needletail

Fastest Birds in the World: White-throated Needletail
The White-throated Needletail can supposedly travel at a horizontal speed of 170 kilometers per hour or 105 miles per hour.

©scott mirror/Shutterstock.com

The white-throated needletail, also known as Hirundapus caudacutus, is a big swift that is part of the genus Hirundapus. It is also known as the needle-tailed swift and the spine-tailed swift. It can supposedly travel at a horizontal speed of 170 kilometers per hour or 105 miles per hour.

Eurasian Hobby

Eurasian Hobby Falcon
The Eurasian Hobby is a member of the Falcon family and can reach speeds of 100 miles per hour during flight.

©Shantanu Kuveskar / CC BY-SA 4.0 – License

The Eurasian Hobby is a member of the Falcon family and can reach speeds of 100 miles per hour during flight. The Eurasian Hobby is unique among birds because of its acrobatic flight, which enables it to change its wings’ shape and size depending on its speed and to perform high dives to catch its prey. At its fastest, it can go at a rate of 160 kilometers per hour or about 100 miles per hour.

Mexican Free-Tailed Bat

A Mexican free-tailed bat on black background
A Mexican free-tailed bat s reported to attain ground speeds of exceeding 100 mph, or 161 km/h, making it the fastest mammal in terms of horizontal speed.

The Mexican free-tailed bat, a species of medium-sized bat endemic to the Americas, is often considered to be one of the continent’s most plentiful animals. It is reported to attain ground speeds of exceeding 100 mph, or 161 km/h, making it the fastest mammal in terms of horizontal speed, as opposed to its stoop diving speed.

Frigatebird

Frigatebird in flight showing its massive wingspan
Frigatebird may reach speeds of up to 95 miles per hour or 135 km/h.

©rock ptarmigan/Shutterstock.com

Fregatidae is a family of seabirds that includes colorful and regal frigatebirds. This single genus, Fregata, is home to five distinct species. Man-o’-wars and pirate birds are two more familiar names for them. frigatebirds have a swift wingbeat. When diving, they may reach speeds of up to 95 miles per hour or 135 km/h. They employ their speed to outrun other birds of prey, such as seagulls, terns, and boobies, prompting them to drop their catch or, in some cases, throw up their prey.

Rock Dove (Pigeon)

rock pigeon sitting on top a roof
The Rock Dove (pigeon) can travel as fast as 148.9 km/h, which is around 92.5 mph.

©iStock.com/Christian Sturzenegger

Columbidae is the family to which the Rock dove (pigeon) belongs. It can travel as fast as 148.9 km/h, which is around 92.5 mph. Both domesticated and wild pigeons can trace their lineage back to the original, wild rock dove. It is currently confined to secluded, rocky places.

Spur-Winged Goose

Spur-winged Goose
This impressive bird can reach a top speed of 88 miles per hour!

The Spur-Winged Goose is the largest and fastest-flying member of the goose family. It is closely related to the duck. The Spur-winged Goose is native to Africa’s wetlands. Spur Winged Geese typically range in length from 34 to 40 inches. This impressive bird can reach a top speed of 88 miles per hour!

Gyrfalcon

Types of Falcon Birds
An Arctic Gyrfalcon on a gloved hand its spreading wings. Gyrfalcons can fly at very high altitudes where only eagles can fly as well.

©John Hancock/Shutterstock.com

The gyrfalcon, also known as the Falco rusticolus, is the largest species of falcon. As they dive, gyrfalcons can reach speeds of up to 322 kilometers per hour or 200 miles per hour! However, they prefer level-powered flight and rarely swoop on their prey. Their regular flight speeds typically do not exceed 50 mph or 80 kilometers per hour. Still quite an astounding range!

Grey-Headed Albatross

Fastest Birds in the World: Grey-headed Albatross
Grey-headed Albatross has been reported to have reached 127 km/h, or 78.9 mph.

©MZPHOTO.CZ/Shutterstock.com

Large seabirds belonging to the albatross family include the grey-headed albatross or Thalassarche chrysostoma. They are also known as the grey-headed mollymawk. The average estimated groundspeed reported for a satellite-tagged grey-headed albatross reached 127 km/h, or 78.9 mph in a 2004 paper published by research teams working in the sub-Antarctic.

In Conclusion

Cheetah chasing its prey.

©Malene Thyssen / Creative Commons

As you can see, only birds can outpace a cheetah. When diving, the peregrine falcon may reach speeds of up to 242 mph, making it both the fastest bird and the fastest mammal. Birds’ velocities in flight are more nuanced than earlier studies have shown. Birds, according to studies, use a variety of techniques, each of which is basic yet effective, to regulate their airspeed and account for the effects of a tailwind, headwind, or sidewind. They are also able to reach higher speeds because of the thinner air at certain altitudes. Interesting, to say the least!

Up Next


The Featured Image

cheetah_15
Fast and nimble cheetah
© JonathanC Photography/Shutterstock.com

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About the Author

A substantial part of my life has been spent as a writer and artist, with great respect to observing nature with an analytical and metaphysical eye. Upon close investigation, the natural world exposes truths far beyond the obvious. For me, the source of all that we are is embodied in our planet; and the process of writing and creating art around this topic is an attempt to communicate its wonders.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions) 

What can outrun a cheetah?

Only birds can outpace a cheetah. When diving, the peregrine falcon may reach speeds of up to 242 mph, making it both the fastest bird and the fastest mammal.

Is a pigeon really faster than a cheetah?

Yes, a pigeon flies as fast as 92.5 mph and a cheetah only runs at 69-75 mph.

Thank you for reading! Have some feedback for us? Contact the AZ Animals editorial team.

Sources
  1. Wikipedia, Available here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fastest_animals
  2. Science Daily / Lund University, Available here: https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2017/12/171213104946.htm
  3. Storyteller.Travel / Joshua Diegor, Available here: https://storyteller.travel/how-fast-can-a-cheetah-run/