The 10 Slowest Animals in the World, Plus the Slowest Bird!


Here we’ll go through the top 10 slowest animals in the world. With a surprising bonus animal at the end!

While speed can be a matter of life or death in order to escape predators. Some creatures seem to not want to, or not need to move quickly!

There are actually many animals that don’t move at all, such as oysters and mussels. But we haven’t included them as they are just too slow!

This list of animals do at least move, just really slowly!

Slowest animals in the world

Let’s begin with a quick summary table, then read on, or watch the video below (coming soon) from the Ranger Planet YouTube channel, to understand how far they travel, and the reasons they move so slowly.

RankAnimalSpeed
1Sea anemone0.0001 mph
2Pink starfish0.005 mph
3Garden snail0.006 mph
4Dwarf Sea horse0.009 mph
5Three-toad sloth0.17 mph
6Giant tortoise0.186 mph
7Banana slug0.29 mph
8Slow loris0.3 mph
9Gila Monster1.5 mph
10Koala bear6.2 mph
slowest animals and their general speed in mph

1. Sea anemone – 0.0001 mph

Speed: 0.0001 mph, also about 0.0001 km per hour, which equates to around half an inch per hour.

Sea anemone is the slowest sea animal in the world

The sea anemone is related to coral and jellyfish. There are over 1,000 species of sea anemones that come in numerous colors, shapes, and sizes.

They rarely detach themselves from coral or rocks and hunt by waiting for small fish to pass close enough to catch. They move occasionally on their single foot called a pedal disc.

Time-lapse photography is really the only way to noticeably capture them moving.

Sea anemone
Sea anemone

2. Pink starfish – 0.005 mph

Speed: 0.005 mph or 0.009 km per hour

There are 2,000 different species of starfish spread around all of the world’s oceans and most are known ot be very slow.

They use tubular muscles at the bottom of their tentacles to move at speeds of around 6 inches per minute.

It helps when sometimes ocean currents occasionally move them more quickly over longer distances.

slowest animals - pink starfish
pink starfish

3. Garden snail – 0.006 mph

Speed: 0.006 mph, or 0.001 km per hour

Garden snails are the slowest land animal in the world

According to studies, the top speed of garden snails is around three feet per hour – or just 0.006 miles per hour.

Unlike slugs, snails have tough shells on their backs they can retreat into, so they have even less need to outrun predators.

garden snail
garden snail

4. Dwarf sea horse – 0.009 mph

0.009 mph, or 0.015 km per hour

The dwarf seahorse is one of the smallest species of seahorse commonly found in the Bahamas and in some parts of the USA.

It holds the world record as the slowest moving fish, and generally just drift on ocean currents. This means they move at just 6 inches per hour.

sea horse
sea horse

5. Three-toed sloth – 0.17 mph

Speed 0.17mph, around 0.27 km per hour

The world’s slowest animal

The three-toed sloth is native to Central America and is the slowest mammal in the world.

They move at just up to almost 8 feet (2.4 m) per minute when on the ground. Surprisingly quicker when in trees at just over 18 feet (5.6 m) per minute.

three toed sloth
three-toed sloth

6. Giant tortoise – 0.186 mph

Speed: 0.186 mph, or 0.3 km per hour.

Giant tortoises generally only move about 1.2 miles (2 km) per day when on dry land. Mainly as their shells are very heavy and cumbersome.

Giant tortoises live for a long time, so perhaps they don’t need to move quickly!

giant tortoise
giant tortoise

7. Banana slug – 0.29 mph

Speed: 0.29 mph or 0.48 km per hour

Slugs are gastropod mollusks with no shell, and their lack of shell at least makes them quicker than the garden snail.

The banana slug is considered the slowest of all the gastropods at just over 3 inches (7.5cm) per minute.

banana slug
banana slug

8. Slow loris – 0.3 mph

Speed: 0.3 mph, or 1.9 km per hour

The south-east Asian slow loris is the world’s only venomous primate.

Toxins coat the slow loris fur, mouth, and elbows.

This protection from predators enables the slow loris to take it nice and slow when moving at a slow pace of just 1.9 mph (1.9 km) per hour.

But, they can move deadly fast when within striking distance of a tasty insect

Slow loris can cover around 5 miles, (8 km) during the course of a night.

slow loris
slow loris

image

gila monster
Gila monster

10. Koala bear – 6.2 mph

Speed: 6.2 mph, or 10 km per hour

Koala bears conserve energy very efficiently. Mainly by sleeping and resting for most of the time, and by moving very slowly.

They don’t need to move much though, as they spend most of their time living on the eucalyptus tree and eating its leaves.

koala clinging to a tree trunk
Koala bear

And here’s our slowest animal surprise bonus – the slowest bird in the world!

11. American woodcock – 16-28 mph

Speed: 16-28 mph, or 26-46 km per hour

This might seem quite fast for an animal. But not for a bird.

The American woodcock is the slowest bird you will ever see.

They spend most of the time under camouflage on the ground, and their body shape is small and stout, so not quite built for aerodynamics!

More Wildlife help

We hope this has helped to answer the question of what are the slowest animals in the world. Be sure to check out other interesting posts on Ranger Planet. here are a few to get you started.

11 Most Dumbest Animals on the Planet, and Why!

Animals That Don’t Sleep, Look Asleep, or Kind of Sleep

Top 10 Animals That Live in the Tundra, Plus Handy A-Z List

What Eats Grass: The Full A-Z List of Animals That Eat Grass

Michael

A Certified Ecologist and an Entomologist, Michael has been interested in all aspects of Nature for many years. It's only now he's decided, along with his partner Fran, to begin documenting what he knows.

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