What is the fastest animal in the ocean? – .

What is the fastest animal in the ocean? – .
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Billfish – saltwater predators armed with prominent, sharp beaks – are generally considered the fastest swimmers in the oceans. The fastest species of all is believed to be the sailfish (Istiophore). They do, however, have fierce competition; bluefin tuna poses a serious threat to their throne.

Sailfish are beautifully adapted to swim at breakneck speeds to hunt prey. Growing up to 3 meters (10 feet) from tail to bill, they are part of the marlin family (Istiophoridae) which features an impressively large dorsal fin that resembles the sail of a boat.

Two species of sailboats make up the Istiophore genre: Atlantic sailboat (I. albicans) and the Indo-Pacific sailboat (I. platypterus). You can probably guess where these two live.

Although sailfish are probably among the fastest-swimming marine animals, recent research has suggested that they may not be as spry as once thought.

In the 1940s, scientists estimated that the sailing vessel could reach speeds of up to 30 meters per second, or a blazing speed of 108 kilometers per hour (67 miles per hour).

However, a 2015 study suggests that this speed is probably exaggerated. They estimated that sailboats do not exceed swimming speeds of 10 meters per second, or 36 kilometers per hour (22 miles per hour).

It is very unlikely that the sailboat will be able to maintain this speed for an extended period of time. These maximum speeds are probably reached during short but intense movements while hunting for prey. Most of the time, large predatory fish like this tend to cruise at a speed comparable to the average human walk.


An illustration of the Indo-Pacific sailing ship (Istiophoridae platypterus).

A 2015 project by the Central American Billfish Association recorded a sailfish tracked (I. platypterus) accelerating to a G-force of 1.79 G, according to the Large Pelagics Research Center at the University of Massachusetts. If the fish maintained this speed for just a few seconds, it would equate to 125.5 kilometers per hour (78 miles per hour).

Bluefin tuna might trump that, though. The Large Pelagic Research Center conducted a similar study on bluefin tuna and found that it could accelerate to 3.27 G, or 1.8 times the sailfish record.

But again, these are just bursts of speed and it is unclear how long the fish maintain this activity (they might not even have maintained this acceleration for 2 seconds, as the researchers).

On land, the speed records are a little clearer. The undisputed running champion among the cheetah, the elegant African feline adorned with solid black spots.

The cheetah’s maximum speed is often cited as 112 kilometers per hour (70 miles per hour), although this speed was recorded decades ago and is likely inaccurate. In 2012, a cheetah named Sarah was recorded at the Cincinnati Zoo running at a maximum speed of 98 kilometers per hour (61 miles per hour), giving her the world record.



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