When you think of the world’s slowest animals, you may think of the humble sloth, but did you know that there are actually several other creatures that move even slower? While some animals are able to move quickly, there are some that are much slower and can barely keep up with a tortoise’s pace. Here is our top 10 list of the slowest animals on earth.
The pangolin is the slowest animal on Earth! It moves at a snails pace, barely covering more than a few feet in an hour. It spends much of its time curled up in a ball, making it difficult to spot in its natural habitat. Its tough scales make it well-protected from predators, but they also slow it down when it moves. Pangolin’s diet consists of ants, termites and other bugs, which they eat with their long sticky tongue. They can be found in tropical forests and savannas in Africa and Asia. Despite its slow speed, the pangolin is one of the most unique animals on Earth.
9- Garden Snail
Garden snails are the slowest animals on Earth. They move at a maximum speed of 1.3 centimeters per second. That’s just 0.00000436 miles per hour! To put that in perspective, an average human can walk at 3 miles per hour. At their top speed, it would take a snail roughly two days to travel the length of a football field. Snails also have tiny, thread-like tentacles that they use to sense their environment. They also possess a hard, calcareous shell that helps protect them from predators. In addition, snails can sleep for up to three years at a time! Truly, these mollusks are some of the most interesting creatures on the planet.
Starfish are the slowest animal on Earth. But don’t be fooled; they are no slouches! They can still move up to two meters per hour. Starfish use hundreds of tiny tube feet and a sticky suction to cling to rocks, coral and other surfaces. They also have a unique way of getting around; by pushing water out of their bodies and propelling themselves. Starfish can even change direction mid-flight! They use their tube feet and spines to climb steep surfaces, like cliffs and rocks. Starfish can even survive in the deep sea, where temperatures are low and there are few other animals. What’s more, they can go without food for up to two years! So, while they might be the slowest animal on Earth, they certainly don’t lack in resilience.
7- Giant Tortoise
The Giant Tortoise may be the slowest animal on earth, but its speed is not to be underestimated. It can move up to 0.17 mph, enough to traverse a football field in an hour! Despite its sluggish pace, the Giant Tortoise can live up to 200 years, making it the oldest living creature on the planet. It also has a remarkable ability to survive in extremely harsh environments. It can survive without food or water for up to a year, and even withstand long periods of extreme temperatures. Furthermore, its shell provides protection from predators and extreme weather conditions. The Giant Tortoise may be slow, but it is far from helpless!
Photo Credit: Science
Koalas are the slowest animals on earth! They move at a lethargic pace of around 0.2 mph. But don’t worry, they have evolved to conserve energy. Koalas sleep up to 18 hours a day. They can also climb trees to avoid predators. But they don’t just sleep and eat! Koalas can swim and hold their breath for up to six minutes. Koalas also make a range of sounds, from bellows to squeaks. They even have their own language! It’s a mix of snorts, grunts, and screams. Koalas are also very particular about their diets. They only eat the leaves of certain species of eucalyptus trees. They even have a special digestive system to break down the tough leaves. Despite their lazy lifestyle, koalas are still a symbol of Australia. So next time you’re feeling a bit sluggish, just remember the koala!
5- Banana slugs
Banana slugs are the slowest animals on earth. They can only move up to 8 inches per minute! That’s about 0.2 miles per hour! They are also the second largest land gastropod in the world. They can grow up to 10 inches long! Banana slugs have two pairs of tentacles on their head. One pair is used for smell and taste, while the other is for vision. They also have a mucus layer that helps them stay moist and prevents them from drying out. These slimy critters are hermaphrodites, meaning they possess both male and female reproductive organs. They can reproduce without the need of a mate! Banana slugs have a diet of fungi, lichens, and decaying vegetation. They are also known to consume animal droppings. These creatures have an unusually long lifespan of up to 6 years!
4- Three-Toed Sloth
Photo Credit: CN Traveler
The sloth is the world’s slowest animal! But hey, that doesn’t mean it’s lazy. It just moves at its own pace! After all, why rush when you have nowhere to be? Sloths spend 15 to 20 hours a day sleeping and the rest of the time they move slowly through the trees. They are slow but purposeful! They take their time to get things done, like finding food and building nests. Sloths also take their time to socialize, and they can even be quite playful when they want to.
Despite this, they are incredibly agile climbers, reaching heights of 40 feet! Sloths have a unique diet, primarily consisting of leaves, buds, and twigs. Interestingly, they have a special four-chambered stomach to help digest these difficult-to-digest foods. Sloths also spend most of their time sleeping, up to 20 hours a day! This helps conserve their energy for when they need it. Sloths also have a long lifespan, living up to 40 years in the wild. They are solitary animals but do come together to mate. They are also surprisingly good swimmers, using their long arms and webbed feet to propel them through the water.
Photo Credit: Dev
The loris is the slowest animal on Earth. It moves at a snail’s pace! But don’t let its slow pace fool you; these amazing creatures are full of surprises. They have big eyes and long claws that help them climb trees. They also have a powerful sense of smell. Lorises are nocturnal, meaning they’re most active at night. Surprisingly, they can live up to 20 years in the wild! They are mostly solitary but some species live in small family groups. They mainly eat insects, eggs, fruits, and small animals. So, the loris is slow, but it’s still an impressive creature with some impressive skills!
2- Sea Horse
The slowest animal on Earth is the sea horse! It moves at a whopping 0.01 mph. To put it in perspective, a snail can outrun it! It also moves its head in an up-and-down motion, not side-to-side like most other fish. Its tail is prehensile, allowing it to hold on to objects. It can even curl up into a spiral shape! Its diet consists of small crustaceans and plankton. Sea horses are masters of camouflage, blending in with their surroundings. They have excellent eyesight and can detect predators from far away. Despite their sluggish pace, sea horses are incredibly social creatures. They form monogamous pairs and use body language to communicate. They even greet each other every morning with a special dance! Sea horses are fascinating creatures and a true marvel of nature.
So there you have it, the top 10 slowest animals on earth ranging from the humble garden snail to the mysterious sea horse. All of these creatures have adapted to their slow pace, and it’s fascinating to see how they manage to survive in the wild.
1- Sea Anemone
The sea anemone may be the slowest animal on Earth, but its wit is faster than lightning! It can move up to 0.0036 mph, but its tentacles can snap shut in just 0.3 seconds. Its mouth can open in just 1.2 milliseconds! This sluggish creature can produce toxins to defend itself and even regenerate lost body parts. It’s mouth can also act as an anus to release waste. Its life expectancy can range from 10 to 120 years. The sea anemone can also change color, depending on its environment. It can even clone itself! Amazingly, this slow-moving creature can even enjoy the occasional snack, like small fishes and crustaceans. It’s definitely one of Mother Nature’s most interesting creatures.