Monday, 25 February 2013

Ten Fastest Animals on Land

Wildlife has always fascinated me. There are many diverse species and each and every single one of them is quite awesome in its own respective way. Another thing that gets my attention is speed and that’s how I arrived at this article. By the way, my favorite bird will have to be a falcon because of its superfast hunting speed. In the wild, agility is something the animals bank on, to survive. This article discusses the ten fastest animals on land. Of course, you must be familiar with some when it comes to speed, but there are still some on this list that I was unaware of until recent past. Nevertheless, it is an interesting read.

10. GRAY FOX

This cute little guy is usually found in Northern and Central America. It is known for his fast hunting speeds. The gray fox is not a very big animal weighing in on around 10 pounds and that’s one of the reasons that can achieve such speeds. If the gray fox feels the need to, it can run at around 42 miles per hour. Unlike most animals in the wild, this fox likes to hunt alone which I think is pretty brave on its party considering its small size.

9. COYOTE

A coyote is very persistent which is why you find humans using ‘coyote’ as a simile in routine conversations. A coyote can be found all the way from Panama to Canada in the Northern and Central parts of America. This guy can grow up to around forty inches in length and can weigh around 40 lbs. It can run slightly faster than the gray fox at 43 miles per hour. Some run slower but since 43 mph has been clocked on a coyote, I will go ahead and give it the number nine spot. It usually eats mice and rabbits.

8. AFRICAN WILD DOG

The African wild dog can only be found in Africa which is why it earned the name in the first place. This fellow here is also known as the Cape Hunting Dog. An African Wild Dog can grow as tall as 30 inches till the shoulder and weigh in on 70 pounds. With these specifications, an African Wild Dog can run as fast as 45 mph. it is reported that only 3000 of these poor guys are left which is why they have been classified as endangered. So I you are in Africa and this guy is after you; just run and don’t kill it.

7. ELK

This guy is a specie of deer and it is one of the largest at that. It is also known as a Wapiti. You can find them in Eastern Asia and Northern America. Considering the size and weight of this guy it is quite astonishing that it can run at around 45 mph, the same as the African Wild Dog. Elk can maintain its top speed for longer periods of time. At times these creatures are bred for their meat which, by the way, is delicious.

6. THOMSON’S GAZELLE

This agile little thing is one of the favorite preys of a Cheetah. It is hoofed animal most commonly found in Africa in the grasslands. It’s agile running consists of several jumps and its maneuvering ability is just fantastic. If threatened, the gazelle makes high and powerful jumps which are usually for the purpose of intimidating the enemy. This is called pronking. A gazelle can run as fast as 50 miles an hour.

5. LION

The King of the jungle, the lion is one of the most powerful and fastest animals on land. They usually live in groups and hunt in groups as well. Their group is called a pride. A pride is led by one male lion. This guy can weigh in on around 550 pounds. Considering that it can chase its prey at 50 mph wearing that much weight is a feat in itself which is why I gave it the fifth position and not the sixth. It usually feeds on gazelle or elks.

4. WILDEBEEST

A wildebeest is also commonly known as a Gnu and is native to African grasslands. They can reach a height of 4 and half feet to the shoulders. They can weigh around 500 pounds. At its full speed, it can reach up to a little more than 50 mph. Since they are more commonly hunted by lions and cheetahs, I think such a speed is an absolutely necessity for their survival.

3. QUARTER HORSE

Horses are very graceful animals and I am sure you will agree with me here. One of the more popular horses are the Quarter Horses. They are usually used in racing so you can imagine that it will be fast. They can sprint for about quarter a mile. The average speed of this beautiful animal is around 55 mph. they are also used in horse shows and rodeos.

2. PRONGHORN

A pronghorn is also a hoofed animal and it can be found in the grasslands of the west part of Northern America. If you compare this guy with the other members of its family, they cannot jump all that good. But in compensation they were provided with agility. The Pronghorns can run at around 61 mph and the plus part is that they can maintain this speed for longer periods of time which helps them to outlast their predators in most occasions.

1. CHEETAH

I am sure you all know this one. Personally, I think the cheetah takes ‘class’ to another level. Just look at the aerodynamics on this guy, pure genius. It comes from the family of cats called Felidae. They usually live in the African savanna and is, to date, the fastest animal on land. The average speed of this guy is around 70 to 75 mph, which in my opinion is very impressive. They don’t use force to annihilate the enemy; instead they just rush at them at astonishing speeds. The only drawback is that if a cheetah runs at its top speed for more than 90 seconds, it actually risks dying. So if it can capture the prey in 90 seconds or less, then it’s dinner time, otherwise they try again later.
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