Bright Side

How Far 15 Animals Can Travel in a Day

The average person walks between 2 and 5 miles a day. We count steps on our smartphones or activity trackers, but we rarely think of what distance certain animals can cover in a day. Some of them can easily outrun any Olympic champion, while others prefer to save their energy and spend most of their time resting.

We at Bright Side have searched the internet to find out which animals are the slowest and which ones can move at the speed of light.

1. Dwarf Seahorse

The dwarf seahorse is the slowest-moving fish we know of. It can move with a top speed of about 5 feet per hour and can only cover around 40 yards per day. Dwarf seahorses only grow to an average of about 1 inch and can change color according to their mood.

2. Sloth

Sloths move slower than any other mammal on Earth, and their name is actually synonymous for slow motion. They move slowly to conserve energy and usually travel no further than 125 feet in a day. Despite their slower pace, sloths have about half the muscle mass of other animals their size.

3. Banana slug

The banana slug is named for its resemblance to a ripe banana. Some slugs are even spotted like an overripe banana. They move at a speed of about 6.5 inches per minute. The slugs’ mucus helps them move, but limits the distance they can travel in a day.

4. Komodo dragon

Komodo dragons are the largest living lizards in the world. They have incredible vision and can see objects as far as 985 ft away. Males maintain and defend a territory and patrol up to 1.2 miles per day.

5. Lion

Lions spend between 16 and 20 hours per day resting and sleeping. Lions usually travel between 2-3 miles per day to find food. If food is scarce, they may travel further, up to 8 miles each day.

6. Gazelle

Different types of gazelle can run with different speed. For example, Mongolian gazelle can cover up to 12 miles per day. Some are able to run at 60 mph or sustain a speed of 30 mph. Gazelle can actually shrink their liver and their heart to reduce oxygen consumption which allows the animal to breathe less and reduce the amount of water it loses.

7. Polar bear

Polar bears are capable of traveling 19 miles or more per day for several days. They travel throughout the year within loosely-defined, individual home ranges. Polar bears actually have black skin, and they only appear white because their fur reflects visible light.

8. Wolf

Wolves may travel 10 to 30 miles each day in search of food. Singles have been known to travel distances of 550 miles away from their home territory to find a mate. Wolves are one of the most loyal species of the animal kingdom, and once a wolf has found a mate, they usually stay together for life.

9. Reindeer

Reindeer, also known as caribou, normally travel around 12–34 miles a day while migrating. Santa’s helper can run at speeds of 37–50 mph and can easily outrun an Olympic sprinter when they’re only one day old.

10. Emperor penguin

Female penguins lay a single egg and leave it behind to undertake a hunting trip in search of food. They may need to travel over 50 miles just to reach the open ocean, where they will feed on fish, squid, and krill. Meanwhile, males protect their eggs by balancing them on their feet and covering them with feathered skin.

11. Great white shark

White sharks need to travel long distances for seasonal migration. One particular shark named Nicole, after the actress Nicole Kidman, even became a sort-of celebrity. Its return-transoceanic journey of over 12,000 miles is the fastest recorded of any marine fauna. Nicole was traveling at a minimum speed of about 3 mph.

12. Monarch butterfly

Monarchs can travel between 50-100 miles a day. The farthest ranging monarch butterfly recorded traveled 265 miles in one day. These beautiful creatures are poisonous because they eat poisonous milkweed during their larval stage, which is then stored in their body.

13. African elephant

These gentle giants can grow up to 13 feet in height and weigh up to 7 tons. Despite their size, they are actually pretty quick-moving and can walk up to 121 miles per day, although they usually only walk around 15 miles on a daily basis.

14. Peregrine falcon

Peregrine falcons can reach over 200 mph during its characteristic hunting stoop. Unique adaptations in the Peregrine falcon’s nostrils enable it to reduce the change in air pressure experienced at this speed so that it can breathe. They are so fast that scientists are using them as models to improve aircrafts.

15. Bar-tailed godwit

The little bar-tailed godwit, that weighs only 300 grams, can fly about 7,400 miles at one time — further than any other known bird. It makes no stopovers to rest or refuel and outshines any powerful airplane. Godwits fly at about 37 mph, flapping their wings most of the way.

What animal surprised you the most? Do you know any interesting facts about animals you want to share with other Bright Siders?

Preview photo credit, Joe Green / Unsplash