Cheetahs: The Fastest Animals on the Planet

Cheetahs extreme amount of speed compared to other species.

Cheetahs: The Fastest Animals on the Planet

Ashley Turek, Journalist


            Cheetah’s are the fastest animals on the planet. They can run between 50-80 miles per hour. If you were wondering how fast that is, in comparison to a human a cheetah is capable of running about 3 times faster than the fastest human on earth sprinting 27 miles per hour.

            The fastest cheetah ever alive was Sarah. She ran 100 meters in 5.95 seconds! That’s approximately as long as an NFL football field. This happened in 2012 when Sarah was 11 years old. This beat her record of 6.13 seconds in 2009. This record breaking run was recorded for a film on a specially designed course, while Sarah was chasing a fluffy stuffed dog toy. I don’t think they were expecting this knowing that it was just for a show they were producing.

            How can cheetahs run so fast? Well, they have wide nostrils, large lungs, powerful hearts, a flexible spine, long legs, loose joints, lightweight body, and large arteries which carry blood and more oxygen to the cheetahs muscles. All of these features benefit cheetahs being able to run at max speeds.

            Fun fact, a cheetah can reach 20-25 feet in one long stride or jump.

            These species have adapted to be the fastest animals because of hunting. When a cheetah is hunting it gets as close as possible to its prey before outrunning them with a burst of speed. Next it uses its paw to knock the animal to the ground to bite its neck and suffocate it.

            Cheetahs are not the only extremely fast organisms. The Peregrine Falcon (fastest bird) and the Black Marlin (fastest fish) have lots of speed too.

            The Peregrine Falcon can reach up to 240 miles per hour! This bird is so high-speed because of its extra large keel. This large keel allows more muscle to be attached to it, making its wings flap faster.

            The Black Marlin can swim up to 82 miles per hour, but most range between 20-50 miles per hour. However, fishermen have questioned why these fish are so fast because they have non-retractable fins. Retractable fins reduce drag and save energy while a fish is trying to be swift, so why they don’t have that is questionable. A feature that they do have that helps them swim so fast is their rigid tail that helps them power through water. 

            Though cheetahs are the fastest animals on the planet, there are other fast organisms that have an extreme amount of speed too!