15 slowest animals in the world - Species, characteristics and PHOTOS

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Surely more than once you have wondered which are the slowest animals in the world or, if not, which is the animal that heads this list. Although today human beings live in a world based on speed and immediacy, there are still animals that live at their own pace and it is no worse for that.

Keep reading this Green Ecologist article to discover the slowest animals in the world, in addition to the characteristics that represent them and photos of examples.

Garden snail

The garden snailHelix aspersa) or burgajo, is a species of pulmonary gastropod mollusk within the Helicidae family. It is a species native to Europe that has a body up to 8 cm long. It's about a nocturnal animal that inhabits humid places and comes out on rainy days.

This snail disputes the position of the slowest animal in the world, since it only moves at a maximum speed of 0.05 km / h. In this way, it can reach a speed of one meter per hour.

Discover in this other article the answer to Are there poisonous snails?

Three-toed sloth

Along with the garden snail, the sloth is also vying for the top spot as the slowest animal in the world. In fact, there is debate between whether it is one or the other.

The three-toed slothBradypus tridactylus) inhabits the basins of the Amazon River and the Orinoco and no subspecies of it are known. As we have said, it is characterized by its extreme slowness to do things, hence the expression "you look like a lazy person." In fact, it is an animal that does not walk, but crawls, but he is still a very good swimmer.

Can get to move two meters per minute, so they can get to do five km in one day. For him, his slow metabolism is not a problem because he lives perched on trees and uses the moss that grows around him to camouflage himself from his prey.

Is the sloth bear in danger of extinction? Find out in this other Green Ecologist article that we recommend.


The koala, known by the scientific name of Phascolarctos cinereus, is part of the diprotodont marsupial species within the Phascolarctidae family. It is a kind endemic to Australia and he is the only existing representative of his family.

They travel at a maximum speed of 20 km / h and, although they are quite agile to climb the Australian eucalyptus trees from where they live, they move at no more than five meters per second. According to the IUCN, it is found in vulnerability status. In fact, the Australian Koala Foundation argues that there are fewer than 100,000 specimens left today.

Here you can find more information about the Endangered Animals of Australia.

Aldabra giant tortoise

This turtle only inhabits the island of Aldabra, in the Indian Ocean. Although it is one of the slowest animals, it is about the second largest land turtle in the world (after the giant Galapagos tortoise). It can weigh 250 kg and measure more than a meter. In addition, they come to live up to more than 270 years.

When we say that it is one of the slowest animals in the world, it is because it can reach a maximum speed of 45 meters per minute. Just because it is slow does not mean that it leads a sedentary lifestyle. In fact, many of them explore the territories around them in search of plants to feed themselves.

You can take a look at this other article about endangered Turtles.

Stupid turtle

Also known as the mask or loggerhead turtle, the loggerhead turtle (Caretta caretta) is a marine turtle that is frequently found in the Mediterranean Sea. Their colors may vary, from dark brown tones, to orange yellows and whites.

It can weigh 159 kg and measure up to 120 cm. In addition, it is one of the oldest animals, since it can live up to 150 years and its approximate speed is 0.040 km / h.

Visit this post by Green Ecologist to find out why the loggerhead turtle is in danger of extinction.

Greenland shark

The Greenland shark, also called the boreal shark (Somniosus microcephalus), it is one of the largest shark species, as it can measure between 6 and 7 meters. It inhabits the Atlantic Ocean and the Arctic Glacial Ocean and can live for approximately 500 years. In this way, it is the oldest vertebrate of the world.

Its slowness when it comes to moving, has also led to it being called a sleeping shark and it can move 0.34 meters per second. Furthermore, his slowness is also due to his blindness.

Discover the Types of sharks: how many there are and species.

Image: RT News

Tiger beetle

The tiger beetleCicindelinae) It is characterized by being very voracious in terms of its predatory habits. It is an insect that can run 2.5 meters per second. In this way, although it is one of the slowest animals in the world, it is one of the fastest mites.

It can live in all kinds of habitats, although it tends to do so in places with a tropical or semi-tropical climate. Its name is given because it is a great hunter. In fact, as it is one of the fastest animals of its species, but one of the slowest in the world, its eyes cannot process the images it receives and it can often lose its prey.

Know what is the tropical climate and its characteristics in this other article that we recommend.

Pygmy slow loris

The pygmy slow lorisNycticebus pygmaeus) is a species of strepsirrhine primate of the Lorisidae family, which inhabits tropical and thick forests and bamboo thickets in China, Vietnam, Laos and parts of Cambodia.

It is usually a nocturnal animal and moves very cautiously through the branches, so much so that it cannot reach more than 30 meters in one minute. Although it looks adorable and even funny, you have to be careful because its bite can be toxic.

It is currently in vulnerability status, since the destruction of its habitat is more and more advanced and some rural communities hunt it to make use of its bones in medicine.

If you want to read more about the Destruction of the environment and habitat: causes and consequences, don't miss this other article by Green Ecologist.

sea cow

The manatee o Trichechus it is one of the sirenidae mammals of the trichidae family. In fact, he is the only representative of this family. They are also known as sea cows and are characterized by being herbivorous and peaceful animals who spend much of the day looking for food and eating it.

It has no other predator than man or killer whales, but the latter case is rare. They stand out above all for their large size, since they can measure between 4 and 6 meters and weigh 300 and 500 kg, and because they only reach reach 30 km / h.

Find out more about the Sirenian Mammals: characteristics and examples and about The endangered manatee in these two other articles that we suggest.

Giant pangolin

The Smutsia gigantea It is a species of folidot within the Manidae family and it is the largest species of pangolin. It feeds on ants and termites that it captures with its tongue and lives distributed throughout Africa.

It has a great sense of smell and it is a nocturnal animal that can measure up to 140 centimeters and weigh 33 kg. You can reach a top speed of 115 km / h.

American snipe

The Scolopax minor It is a wader bird that inhabits all of North America, from Mexico to Canada. It is a slower animal flying as it reaches a speed of 8 km / h. It is a migratory bird that prefers wooded and shrubby environments. It is not usually seen during the day, but it draws attention for its plump appearance and its long beak, which it serves to capture worms.

In this other Green Ecologist article you can learn about the Birds in danger of extinction.

Gila monster

The Gila monster, with the scientific name of Heloderma suspectum, is one of the only three poisonous lizards and that lives in arid and warm environments of Mexico and the United States. Although it has earned a bad reputation for its venom, it is a peaceful animal that poses no threat to humans.

It can grow to between 35 and 60 cm, has large claws and can weigh a maximum of 1 kg. It is a reptile that he doesn't know how to run, but to reach a maximum speed of 24 km / h.


It is a genre of Hippocampus which can reach a size of 14 mm or 29 cm. One of the features of its physique that stands out the most is its biofluorescence, since it can show red, blue or green emissions.

It is one of the slowest animals in the world because it can reach a maximum speed of 300 centimeters per minute. A curiosity about seahorses is that they have neither teeth nor stomach. In addition, they can devour their prey from 3 cm away.


Also known as asteroids, starfish are a class of Echinodermata and there are up to 2,000 species of it. One of the characteristics of starfish is that it has five arms, although the Antarctic starfish can have 50 arms.

They tend to move very slowly and imperceptibly, so their speed is 94 meters per hour. In addition, one of the curiosities of starfish is that, if one of their arms is cut off, it regenerates again and, from these arms, new starfish can be born.

If you want to know more, read this post about the Starfish: characteristics, reproduction and taxonomy.

Banana slug

It is one of the land slugs typical of North America and, as its name suggests, they are yellow in color reminiscent of bananas. Still, they can also have other colors more greenish, brown, white or even with black spots. In fact, many times the color indicates health level of the slug.

It is on the list of slowest animals in the world because it moves to less than 80 centimeters per minute. It can measure 25 centimeters, weigh 115 grams and live up to 7 years. It has a structure called the radula, which is a series of rows of microscopic teeth so it can feed.

If you want to read more articles similar to World's slowest animals, we recommend that you enter our category of Animal Curiosities.

  • Lang, H. (2022). These 30 photos show the slowest animals. National Geographic. Available at: https://www.nationalgeographic.es/animales/2017/07/los-animales-mas-lentos-del-mundo-adivinas-que-animal-se-mueve-poco-mas-de-1
  • Woinarski, J. & Burbidge, A.A. (2022). Phascolarctos cinereus (amended version of 2016 assessment). The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2022: e.T16892A166496779. Available at: https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2020-1.RLTS.T16892A166496779.en.
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