In Pictures: The Fastest Animals on Earth

Number one is faster than a Lamborghini.
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In Pictures: The Fastest Animals on Earth Getty Images

Do you know how fast Usain Bolt can run in miles per hour? More importantly, how does the world's fastest man compare to the world's fastest animals? Bolt managed to clock 27.8 mph by running the 100 meter sprint in just 9.58 seconds.

Despite the Jamaican's efforts, humans didn't even break into the top 25 fastest animals on Earth. In fact, no mammals make it into the top 10 rankings—the cheetah finished at 14th.

So what's setting all these speed records? Mostly birds, and a few fish. Of the top 10, the first nine all travel by flying. Number one comes in at a blistering 242 mph. The next closest sits at 199 mph followed by a steep drop to 105 mph.

The birds do have an unfair advantage—the help of gravity. The top speeds recorded are all in a controlled dive, usually to swoop on prey. It's not exactly falling, but it's still a lot easier than fish swimming against the current.

Speaking of which, the first fish on the list comes in at number 10. The enormous 1,600 pound Black Marlin can exceed 80 mph swimming in the depths of the ocean.

Moving back to land, and the plains of Africa seem to be the best spot for speedster mammals. Springboks, wildebeests, lions and African wild dogs all feature, trailing of course to the cheetah. You really have to feel for some animals like the wildebeest, despite being one of the fastest land animals on the planet, their predators (cheetahs and lions) are just as quick if not quicker.

Australia's iconic marsupial, the kangaroo, manages to just make the list and in North America the pronghorn finishes high. This Newsweek slideshow features the 25 fastest animals.

We sourced figures from World Atlas which has a fastest mammals list and fastest animals list.

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25. Kangaroo. 44.1 mph. Getty Images