Speed of Animals

African Bush Elephant

Loxodonta africana
length weight top speed (running) feels like
22'7" 8.8tons 24.9mph 6.5mph

Elephants swim well, but cannot trot, jump, or gallop. They do have two gaits: a walk; and a faster gait that is similar to running. In walking, the legs act as pendulums, with the hips and shoulders rising and falling while the foot is planted on the ground. With no “aerial phase”, the faster gait does not meet all the criteria of running, as elephants always have at least one foot on the ground.

However, an elephant moving fast uses its legs much like a running animal, with the hips and shoulders falling and then rising while the feet are on the ground. In this gait, an elephant will have three feet off the ground at one time. As both of the hind feet and both of the front feet are off the ground at the same time, this gait has been likened to the hind legs and the front legs taking turns running. Although they start this “run” at only 8 km/h, elephants can reach speeds up to 40 km/h (25 mph), all the while using the same gait. At this speed, most other four-legged creatures are well into a gallop, even accounting for leg length. Spring-like kinetics could explain the difference between the motion of elephants and other animals

Animals: land air water insect
feet meters
Graph: top speed feels like

Imagine what it's like for a tiny insect to jump and fly as quickly as they do. They might cover 40 body lengths in a second. To a six-foot person that's 164 mph. This site tries to understand how it feels to move like a fly, a squirrel, a cat, a rhinocerous, or a falcon.

Similar Animals

African Bush Elephant African Bush Elephant
Loxodonta africana
top speed 24.9 mph
feels like 6.5 mph

Brown Bear Brown Bear
Ursus arctos
top speed 21.7 mph
feels like 15.7 mph

elk elk
Cervus canadensis
top speed 45 mph
feels like 57.8 mph

Galapagos tortoise Galapagos tortoise
Geochelone nigra
top speed 0.2 mph
feels like 0.3 mph

giraffe giraffe
Giraffa camelopardalis
top speed 32.3 mph
feels like 11.2 mph

grizzly bear grizzly bear
Ursus arctos
top speed 34.8 mph
feels like 25.1 mph

horse horse
Equus ferus caballus
top speed 54.7 mph
feels like 49.2 mph

lion lion
Panthera leo
top speed 49.7 mph
feels like 32 mph

Mongolian wild ass Mongolian wild ass
Equus hemionus
top speed 39.8 mph
feels like 31.8 mph

Polar Bear Polar Bear
Ursus maritimus
top speed 18.6 mph
feels like 13.9 mph

wildebeest wildebeest
Connochaetes gnou
top speed 39.8 mph
feels like 35.8 mph

zebra zebra
Equus zebra
top speed 40 mph
feels like 32.7 mph

Site concept, design, and creation by Alex Reisner. Animal descriptions are from Wikipedia and some silhouettes are from All Silhouettes.