The animal kingdom is replete with organisms possessing different features and qualities. Each phylum, species has unique behavior patterns and adaptive mechanisms. The richness of Earth’s fauna is impressive to say the least. While some animals can go without food or water for days, others have spectacular camouflage abilities while the others run at lightning fast speeds. But there are certain species of animals who are super slow in movement and activity. They take extra time to carry out most of their activities and end up being sedentary and slow moving organisms. Let us check out the top 10 slowest animals in the world and the features that make them unique.
Top 10 Slowest Animals In The World
Manatees are an adorable species of sea cows and are plant eating organisms. They are usually found in Amazon, Caribbean regions as well as the Indian Ocean. Usually thriving in shallow waters, Manatees rarely move. They mostly float on the water surface. Since they don’t have any predators in their entire life cycle, Manatees don’t require a defence mechanism or the speed to fight them off. This leads them to be the slowest animals in the world. They spend their time eating, and sleeping which causes them to be heavier in size and weight.
9. Gila Monster
Coming into the reptilian category, Gila Monsters are a type of venomous lizard mainly residing in the southwestern United States. They usually hide under the ground and are seldom out in the public eye. Measuring around 22 inches in size, gila monster lizards can eat up food equivalent to one third of their body and are one of the slowest animals on Earth. These lizards store fat in their body and utilize this fat for food so they hardly venture out to look for food. They stay in the ground for longer time intervals and rest entirely. This helps them stay away from their predators making them slower organisms with the least amount of body movements in the animal kingdom.
Loris are a primate species mainly found in South East Asian region. They are medium in size and have human resembling hands. Loris move extremely slowly with a twisted movement at the rate of just 2 kilometres per hour. They have special protective features like lumbering, and also have a venomous bite to keep themselves at bay from predators.
7. Sea Horse
A kind of fish found in tropical regions worldwide, sea horses have a body structure that makes it impossible for them to move faster. They make slower, more restricted movements and that amounts to hardly 0.5 miles an hour. This is why sea horses end up staying at one place in their lifetime. This may be attributed to their strange and peculiar body structure.
6. Banana Slug
A category of molluscs, the banana slugs lack a shell. They move by the mechanism of muscle contraction which leads them to move slower than most animal species. Banana slugs mainly lay underground and indulge in eating and laying eggs. This leads them to stay in one place with little or no movement. They move at the rate of 0.2 miles per hour. They are capable of surviving in moist environment under the ground for very long periods sometimes several years.
5. Koala Bear
Koala bears belong to the category of marsupials. Although they resemble bears in terms of appearance they don’t belong to the bear family. They possess extremely strong limbs and claws enabling them to climb trees faster so they can eat leaves. Although they have these capabilities, they still move slowly due to their poor eyesight and thus a major part of their life cycle is spent on the trees. Their thick and padded tails help them sit on trees for longer periods of time. Their olfactory sense is well developed helping them detect predators in time.
4. Giant Tortoise
Tortoises are the longest living vertebrates on the planet. We all have heard of the story of the rabbit and the tortoise. These animals are usually located in the Galapagos islands and the adjoining archipelagos mainly in Seychelles, and a major portion of the African continent. They weigh around 350 kilograms which leads them to move slower than other animals. Tortoises are probably the slowest moving animals in the animal kingdom. Apart from their weight, their thick legs, heavy shells and overall body structure too contributes to their extremely slow movements. The Giant tortoise is mainly found in wetlands, and moist regions and can store water and food making them capable of living without water for almost a year.
3. Garden Snail
Snails are known as slow moving animals even in popular culture. They belong to the molluscs phylum in the animal kingdom and are mainly found in the Mediterranean region. They have thick and coiled shells that contribute to their super slow speed. Their moving speed amounts to just a few yards per hour. Snails are depicted in popular culture, cartoons and stories as slow moving animals and their locomotion too occurs via muscular contraction. These animals are found in wetlands. They also hibernate for long periods and stay away from sunlight.
2. Star Fish
Belonging to phylum echinodermata in the animal kingdom, starfish are star shaped fish and have around 2000 different species in all the regions worldwide. These animals can’t travel long distances and move along with the ocean currents. Their moving speed is probably the lowest on this list amounting to 0.02 miles per hour. This can be attributed to their star like body shape. Moreover, starfishes lack blood and brain. If they are cut into many pieces, new starfish divide and grow from these pieces.
1. Three-Toed Sloth
The three toed sloths rank the highest on the list, with the slowest speed in the world amounting to 0.003 miles per hour. These animals are found in tropical rainforests situated in America and travel less than 100 feet in a day. They spend most of their life cycle on tree branches. They consume leaves and preserve their energy carrying out little to no locomotion.