When you hear the term “fastest animals,” you may think of a cheetah or another large jungle cat. However, what many people don’t know is that birds and fish are in fact the fastest animals on earth. In light of recent concern that the albatross (number 10 on our list) will go extinct, we’ve compiled a list of the 10 fastest animals on earth. Check it out below.
Number Ten: Grey-Headed Albatross. Even though the albatross is under the threat of extinction, that doesn’t make its peak speed of 79 mph any less impressive. These seabirds tend to nest on islands in the Southern Ocean and weigh anywhere from 6.2 to 9.7 pounds.
Number Nine: Gyrfalcon. At 80 mph, the gyrfalcon comes in ninth on our list of fastest animals. The gyrfalcon is the largest of the falcon species; interested birdwatchers can find gyrfalcons on Arctic coasts and islands surrounding North America, Europe and Asia.
Number Eight: Black Marlin. The first fish on our list, the black marlin can reach speeds of up to 80 mph in the water. In fact, one hooked black marlin was recorded stripping line off of a fishing reel at an impressive speed of 82 mph.
Number Seven: Red-Breasted Merganser. The red-breasted merganser is a diving duck that can reach speeds of up to 81 mph. These ducks need to swim fast in order to catch small fish, aquatic insects, and frogs.
Number Six: Spur-Winged Goose. The spur-winged goose can reach speeds of up to 88 mph in the air. It can be found in wetlands throughout sub-Saharan Africa and weighs anywhere from 8.8 to 15 pounds.
Number Five: Frigatebird. The frigatebird is perhaps most notable for its puffy red chest, but did you know it can also reach speeds of up to 95 mph? These birds can stay in the air for days on end, thanks to their ability to surf wind currents.
Number Four: Eurasian Hobby. Another falcon on the list, the Eurasian Hobby can fly up to 100 mph. Eurasian hobby falcons can be found in Africa, Europe and Asia.
Number Three: White-Throated Needletail Swift. At a peak speed of 105 mph, the white-throated needletail swift clocks in at number three on our list. It is the fastest bird in the world in terms of flapping flight (speed reached while still flapping wings).
Number Two: Golden Eagle. The golden eagle is both majestic and incredibly fast. At a peak speed of 150-200 mph, the golden eagle is the most widely distributed species of eagle, and they prey on small mammals such as mice, rabbits and squirrels.
Number One: Peregrine Falcon. Finally, the peregrine falcon takes the prize at a whopping peak speed of 242 mph. Not only is the peregrine falcon the fastest animal in the air, but it is also the fastest member of the entire animal kingdom. The peregrine falcon reaches its peak speed while diving to hunt its small prey.