Animal World

Animal Characteristics and Activities

Which animals can run faster than a human?

The cheetah, the fastest mammal, can accelerate from zero to 45 miles (64 kilometers) per hour in two seconds; it has been timed at speeds of 70 miles (112 kilometers) per hour over short distances. In most chases, cheetahs average around 40 miles (63 kilometers) per hour. Humans can run very short distances at almost 28 miles (45 kilometers) per hour maximum. Most of the speeds given in the table below are for distances of one-quarter mile (0.4 kilometer).

Animal Maximum Speed (mph/kph)
Cheetah 70/112.6
Pronghorn antelope 61/98.1
Wildebeest 50/80.5
Lion 50/80.5
Thomson’s gazelle 50/80.5
Quarter horse 47.5/76.4
Elk 45/72.4
Cape hunting dog 45/72.4
Coyote 43/69.2
Gray fox 42/67.6
Hyena 40/64.4
Zebra 40/64.4
Mongolian wild ass 40/64.4
Greyhound 39.4/63.3
Whippet 35.5/57.1
Rabbit (domestic) 35/56.3
Mule deer 35/56.3
Jackal 35/56.3
Reindeer 32/51.3
Giraffe 32/51.3
White-tailed deer 30/48.3
Wart hog 30/48.3
Grizzly bear 30/48.3
Cat (domestic) 30/48.3
Human 27.9/44.9


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