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Q.
It’s incredible to watch animals take back their environs as we non-essential worker humans shelter safely at home. Lions sleeping in the middle of the road, bears frolicking in trees, wild boar eating their way through city greens. But, if and when we start intermingling again, it would be useful to know which animals run the fastest and how do we humans fare in comparison?

A.
The 2020 World Almanac (with its teeny-tiny writing) and the American Museum of Natural History have answers. Sad to say, it’s rather bad race news for we non-Olympian humans.

Most of these animals were charted at their maximum speeds over ~ a quarter-mile. Those measured differently are noted below …

Speeds of Selected Animals in Miles Per Hour
Cheetah – 70 (timed over a 100 yard distance)
Pronghorn antelope – 60
Wildebeest – 50
Lion – 50 (clocked while charging. Not terrifying at all.)
Thomson’s gazelle – 50
Quarterhorse – 47.5
Elk – 45
Cape hunting dog – 45
Coyote – 43
Gray fox – 42
Hyena – 40
Zebra – 40
Mongolian wild ass – 40
Greyhound – 39.35
Whippet – 35.50 (timed over a 200 yard course)
.

.

Domestic Rabbit – 35
Mule deer – 35
Jackal – 32
Reindeer – 32
Giraffe – 32
White-tailed deer – 30
Warthog – 30
Grizzly bear – 30
Domestic cat – 30
Human – 27.89 (timed over a 15 yard segment of a 100 yard run)
Elephant – 24 (clocked whilst charging)
Black mamba snake – 20 *
Six-lined race runner lizard – 18 *
Wild turkey – 15
Squirrel – 12
Domestic pig – 11
Chicken – 9
Tegenaria Atrica Spider – 1.17 *
Giant tortoise – 0.17 *
Three-toed sloth – 0.15 *
Garden snail – 0.03 *

* timed over various small distances.

www.justcurious.ca

Header: Cara Fuller. Cheetah Outreach. Presumably not yet at full mph.
Photo 2: Waranya Mooldee

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Elizabeth Newton

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