ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

The Top 5 Slowest Creatures on Earth

Updated on April 20, 2015

Slowness is not Loweness

Who's the slowest in the animal kingdom? That is the contest within this hub. Here you will find the those who walk, climb, slime and fly at the worst speeds in the animal kingdom. Some may wonder how can such a lethargicly slow creature survive? Don't the fastest and biggest survive? Not necessarily, it is the animal that adapts that ultimately survives. The examples below exhibit extraordinary instincts and adaptations to compliment their slow nature. Let's us explore them further.

A three-toed sloth

16/ft hr

The Slowest Mammal

The 3 Toed-Sloth: Bradypus

The three-toed sloth is the slowest mammal on earth. Clocking in at only .003 mph, it would take this sloth moving at full speed about 19 hours to traverse the length of a football field. By the time a running back has made a touchdown return, the poor sloth has yet to make it past the 1 yard line. It is the only living mammal known to ever have moved that slow. They get their name from their most obvious trait.

The three-toed sloth, resides in the forests of central America, and in the Amazon of South America. They feed primarily on leaves the trees to which they choose their favorite. Sloths spend most of their lives hanging effortlessly from trees only to reach the ground in order to defecate. Reasons for this could be is that they don't want to ruin their hors d'oeuvre of leaves. But for all their slowness, they have a very good reason for it: their lack of muscle. To make up for their lack of muscle, sloths must move slow and steady in order to survive. This motion of their bodies camouflages them amongst the trees hiding their helpless existence from predators.

An American Woodcock

5/mph (In the Air)

The Slowest Bird

American Woodcock: Scolopax minor

The American Woodcock, is the slowest bird in North America. During breeding season, this bird likes to float through the air without flapping its wings. It's average flight speed while performing this maneuver is 5/mph. However, when not in this flight mode it can move much faster.

Currently, these birds reside mostly in the uplands of Eastern North America. Where they inhabit grasslands and forests. The Woodcock is famous for its unusual mating dance while on the ground. During its dance, it bobs its entire body up and down while it walks. It moves pretty slowly while performing this ritual as well.

A Galápagos Tortoise

.2/mph (On Land)

The Slowest Reptile

The Galápagos tortoise: Geochelone nigra

On the Galápagos islands, lives one of largest tortoises in the world the Galápagos Tortoise. It spends most of its life in lower to mid elevations eating plants, bugs and fruit. When they travel from place to place, they form what are called tortoise highways. These are trails formed by numbers of tortoises following the same path to their destination. Galápagos Tortoises have been timed to travel up to .2 mph on land. Making them the slowest reptile on earth. However in the water, they can travel up to 1/mph. On land, to travel from nesting grounds, breeding grounds and eating grounds can take hours. But for all their size and slowness, their hard shell makes them difficult prey. Unfortunately, you can't say that about their young, who become stranded and vulnerable on the beach upon hatching. Oddly enough though, a tortoise hatchling moves faster than its full grown peers.

A Seahorse

52/ft. ph

The Slowest Fish

The Seahorse: Hippocampus

This fish one of the most bizarre but elegant creature in ocean by far. Not only swim at a crawling speed of .01 mph, which would take roughly over 3 hours to swim across an Olympic size swimming pool. With sea horses, it is the male who carries the young until their birth. The female just supplies the eggs, but the male fertilizes and incubates them.

They're slowness however, is not to their detriment. Seahorses are considered the most efficient predator in the ocean. While small and slow they may be. They're capable of capturing 90% of their prey. This is due to their ability to make hardly any alerting ripples in the water. The Seahorse's shape, size and slowness are what helps it survive. Most of their pray is already dead before they even know it. Also, their slow and smooth movements camouflage them from prey.

A Banana Slug

3.25/in ph

The Slowest Critter

The Banana Slug: Ariolimax

The Yellow Banana Slug is one of the largest slugs in the world. One of these slime balls can reach up to a foot in length. Not only are they slow, but they are extremely slimy. Slugs are very sensitive to dehydration, so it is vitally important for them to maintain a layer of mucus around them. That's why when you pour salt on a Slug they die so quickly. It's not a very pleasant way to go.The Yellow Banana Slug is a what is called a Mollusk, and it is the slowest of them all. It slimes along its way in the north west Pacific America, at 3.25 inches per hour. For a banana Slug to go across a 100 yard football field would take about 50 days at 2 yards per day. That's if the Slug didn't get lunch breaks.

And slow trophy goes to...

The Banana Slug.

The Banana Slug wins the contest by clicking in at only 2 yards per day! This makes them the most slow and slimy creatures on the planet. The trophy reward is a commemorative video of a park ranger handling a banana slug. Enjoy!


Basic reading information:


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      2 years ago

      too good

    • peachpurple profile image


      3 years ago from Home Sweet Home

      oh i thought that the snail was the slowest, banana slug, never seen one for real.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)