Fastest animals in the air

Posted on Sep 15, 2010 in Skills

The fastest bird and animal in the world – The peregrine falcon

This awesome bird is like an ‘air-to-air missile’ as it cruises at high altitude looking for a tasty pigeon for supper. Once the oblivious target is spotted, the falcon tucks in its wings and plummets towards the pigeon at around 100 mph. However it is only during  macho displays over territory that it really shows off - reaching  diving speed of over 200 mph.

 

© pau.artigas – flickr

The fastest bird in natural flight – The spine-tailed swift [alpine swift pictured]

Swift by name, swift by nature. Many would even argue this is the true all-time champion of speed as it doesn’t rely on diving to achieve its astonishing pace. In horizontal flight the spine-tailed swift, also known as the white-throated needletail, can fly at over 100 mph.

 

Fastest relative to size – The hummingbird

When trying to impress a mate, some hummingbird’s have been recorded diving through the air at around 50mph. This is more impressive when you consider their dimunitive size. If a hummingbird were scaled up to match the size of a small car - then in equivalent terms it would be going about 1,300 mph - almost twice the speed of sound.

 

© Photos8.com – flickr

Fastest flying insect – The Australian dragonfly

When flying to capture and eat airborne prey such as mosquitoes, this Australian drogonfly can reach speeds of 36 mph. But it can only do so for a few seconds at a time.

 

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