The animal kingdom has its sprinters, but there are also many species that are not in a hurry. What are the slowest animals in the world? We answer this question below.
The slowest animals in the world they travel at a real turtle pace (ironically) and usually do so when they have no other option. This is not due to innate laziness. Inertia in this case is an evolutionary mechanism that serves specific purposes. What?
It may seem that the largest animals in the world will also be the slowest. In the fauna kingdom, however, nothing is taken for granted. The largest mammals, reptiles and amphibians can force themselves into an impressive sprint when needed. The slowest animals in the world are much smaller than them.
It may seem that slowness in the animal world equates to death in the mouth of a predator. Meanwhile, nature has enabled these species to develop many other defense mechanisms. What is a leisurely movement for? Above all, slowing down metabolism, and this in turn translates into longevity† That’s right, the slowest species that don’t escape an invader usually live the longest. Interesting paradox, isn’t it?
Our list opens with beautiful copies sloth† These small mammals spend a significant part of the day in the treetops. They only descend to the ground for physiological needs or to be transferred to another tree. They move clumsily, at a speed of 2-4 meters per minute. This is due to a significantly slowed metabolism. This ensures that sloths are content with modest amounts of food. When they take their place in the tree, they barely move. This is not only a way to reduce the demand for energy, but also a defense mechanism. The stationary sloth remains almost invisible to carnivores.
Another “slow” on our list is a small marsupial that lives in Australian forests. Talk about koalas, often referred to as a teddy bear (we emphasize, this mammal has nothing to do with the bear family). Like sloths, koalas live in trees. They sleep up to 18 hours a day and when they wake up, they begin to eat. Their food is eucalyptus leaf – food with a low energy value. In order for a small marsupial to survive, it must not consume excess calories. When he comes out of the tree, he does it slowly. Short legs don’t encourage him to rush. If necessary, it can reach speeds of up to 9 km/h, but such “madness” is not in his nature. It should be noted that although a sloth has two reasons for coming to the ground, the koala does this only when it has no food.
A turtle should not be missing from the list of the slowest animals in the world. Inhabiting the Aldabra Atoll giant tortoises they are one of the slowest representatives of their species. Running speed? Less than 2 km/h Such a slow animal has no chance of escaping the predator. This behemoth doesn’t have to do this, however. It is protected from attack by powerful armor, and it should be emphasized that the aggressor is also deterred by the size of the animal. The average length of the armor is 120 cm, and the body weight of this colossus is up to 250 kg. Their unhurried lifestyle translates into longevity for these reptiles. Some individuals live up to 200 years.
The snail is another symbol of slowness, and for good reason. Compared to banana snailthe Aldabra giant tortoise is a real sprinter. The mollusk in question only travels 15 cm per minute, making it one of the slowest animals in the world. During the day it is usually hidden in the ground. It only surfaces at night or when the humidity is high enough. Since banana snails do not have shells, their bodies are exposed to dehydration. What about predator attacks? The mucus secreted by these animals not only makes them easier to move, but is also a kind of “bogey”. However, it is not a 100% effective weapon. Some carnivores roll a snail in the ground like a piece of meat in flour. Thus, they neutralize the effect of the mucus that causes the numbness of the tongue.
manatees are large marine mammals that live in the coastal waters of northern Brazil, the United States, and the Caribbean. It is a gentle giant that feeds on plant foods, mainly seagrass and algae. For a marine animal, it leads an extremely unhurried lifestyle – it moves at a speed of 5 to 8 km / h. How does such a “slow-moving man” avoid attacks by sharks, killer whales and other predators? Manatees live in shallow waters where large carnivores cannot reach. Smaller species do not pose too much of a threat to them – the adult manatee grows to 450 cm in length and weighs up to 600 kg and is protected from attack by a thick skin.
The Komodo dragon shows that a large, apparently slow lizard can move very quickly. Since a large and heavy reptile can run faster than a human, a smaller and lighter reptile should move even faster, right? There’s some logic in this, but Arizona heloderm contradicts this statement. A venomous lizard, 51-56 cm long, moves at a speed of about 2.5 km/h. He spends most of his time underground. When hunting, he locates the victim using a well-developed sense of smell. When it catches its prey, it injects it with a potent neurotoxin.
There are several thousand species in the fauna kingdom starfish and only a handful can move faster than slow. Most of them lead an extremely unhurried lifestyle. On each arm of these invertebrates (at the bottom) there are ambulatory furrows, from which several rows of ambulacral legs grow. It is they who set the animal’s body in motion, allowing it to crawl unhurriedly on the seabed. Don’t rush, what’s what? Most starfish move at a speed of 15 cm per minute.
Another sea creature on our list. Anemone they represent the lineage of stag beetles. They spend most of their time attached to shells, corals, rocks or plants. They rarely move, and when they do, they cover… 1-2cm in an hour†
A small species coastal lives in the western waters of the Pacific Ocean. The physique of this animal prevents it from making dynamic movements. Consequently, its movement is based on slow drifting. Within an hour, he covered 150 cm, which earned him entry into the Guinness Book of Records. He is listed there as the slowest fish.
Our list is rounded off by a medium-sized bird of the snipe family. While no one associates a turtle or a snail with speed, birds, especially migratory birds, are usually thought of as animals that move quickly and efficiently. Well the above does not apply American woodcock† The lowest speed of this species is 8 km/h.