Ask anyone what the fastest animal on Earth is, and they’ll probably say the cheetah. But the focus on the speedy feline has stolen attention from other species that go much faster — some three or more times faster than the cheetah. Who are the overlooked speedsters of the animal kingdom?
To be clear, the cheetah (Acinonyx jubatus) is undeniably fast. And it is true that it’s the quickest animal on land. With documented top speeds of 64 mph (103 km/h), the cheetah easily surpasses other swift animals, like racehorses, to take the title of world’s fastest land animal. And some estimates of their top speed are closer to 70 mph (113 km/h), according to the Smithsonian National Zoo & Conservation Biology Institute.
A combination of leg length, muscle size and a long stride gives the cheetah the ideal body for running across land, said John