Top 10 Slowest Animals in the World: Marvel at Nature’s Leisurely Wonders

We often believe that it is good to be fast but being slow is also very interesting! Ever think about the slowest creature on earth? If you don’t know about the slowest creatures on our planet, we are here to assist you and let you discover the top 10 slowest animals in the world!

The term “slow” for certain species is based on their low metabolic, which saves their body energy to live long (even in harsh environments). But we are dealing with the term “slowest”; Have you some idea which animal holds the title? Get ready to discover the slowest animals in the world and their unhurried speeds!

1. Sea Anemone

Sea anemones-slowest animals

Sea anemone are really immobile with their unbelievable slow speed of 0.0001 km/h! They are very small with an average diameter of only 1-5 cm and remain fixed to the ocean floor. On first look, they appear just like a flower in a vast range of colors, including red, yellow, green, and orange.

According to National Geographic, there are more than 1,000 sea anemone species in the world. This beautiful creature has a very impressive ability to attach to shells, rocks, plants, or coral reefs by taking use of its pedal disc (their lone foot) and mucus secretions. Mostly, they remain attached but, in rare cases, when they detach, they move with the speed of 4-10 inches per hour.

2. Garden Snail

Garden snail ranks second in our list of top 10 slowest animals in the world due to their slow and methodical movement at the speed of 0.001 km/h. The moving way of garden snail is very distinct as it moves through the muscular contractions of its only boneless foot.

Garden snail has a thick shell (with diameter 2.5-3.5 cm) for protection in which it can hide itself in any dangerous situation. With an average weight of 5–7 grams, snails feed on leaves, decaying plant matter, and even fungi!  Ever witness the path of slime when a garden snail has passed from there? It is due to its ability to reduce friction by releasing a stream of mucus.

3. Starfish

Starfish (sea stars) have a hard and flat top and small wavy tube-shaped feet (under their body), which help them to move on sea surface, but very slowly. According to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), the speed of starfish is 0.009 km/h by making use of its tube feet.

Despite their sluggish speed, starfish are very efficient predators as they feed on mollusks such as clams and oysters. Basically, their slow speed is caused by unique water vascular system. Now, if you want to imagine the slow speed of a starfish, then you can consider that a starfish moves much slower than a melting Popsicle in pleasant weather!

4. Dwarf Seahorse

Dwarf seahorse is a very interesting member of our list of top 10 slowest animals in the world as it is deprived of the ability to propel like other fish! Being just 1 inch tall, it moves at the speed of 0.015 km/h (just drifting), feeding on plankton, small fish, crustaceans, and amphipods.

This tiny marine wonder is commonly found in the Bahamas and different parts of the U.S. According to the Guinness Book of World Records, dwarf seahorses is considered to be the slowest-moving fish!

5. Three-Toed Sloth

Three toed sloth is among the slowest animals in the world and spends most of its lifetime while hanging out in trees and chewing the leaves. They move slowly at the speed of 0.27 km/h, which can be easily assumed by their sleeping times as they sleep 15 – 20 hours a day!

It is found that these mammals spend only 10 percent of their lifetime moving and remaining 90 % of their lifetime is just rest and only rest. Interestingly, they have very slow metabolism due to which they are able to burn around 110 calories in a single day!

6. Giant Tortoise

With an average speed of only 0.3 km/h, giant tortoise ranks next to 3-toed sloth! It is larger in size (3 meters) and weighs 400 kg, but extremely lazy! Through moving at such slow speeds, they conserve their energy and live extraordinarily long lives.

There are many subspecies of giant tortoises that live on various islands, but the most famous is the giant Galapagos tortoise, which thrive in the dry islands of Galapagos. The largest living tortoise species, the Galapagos can live for 150 years or even more! 

7. Banana Slug

Banana slug- slowest animals in the world

Banana slug takes 8th position in our list of top 10 slowest animals in the world with the speed of 0.48 km/h. Its other name is Cavendish slug and it is around 10 inches in length with weight of 1 ounce only! Their most attractive feature is their elongated banana-shaped body which has a variety of colors including yellow, orange, brown and combinations.

The slow speed of this beautiful creature is very helpful to minimize its energy expenditure, thus reducing the risk of dehydration. Moreover, it’s extremely slow speed allows it to efficiently process decaying plant material, which contributes to the forest ecosystem as a decomposer.

8. Slow Loris

Slow loris-slowest animals

As compared to the banana slug, slow Loris is much efficient even it has the word “slow” in its name! It is a very slow climber and it can move surprisingly quickly when threatened at the speed of 1.9 km/h. Its head-and-body length is 7.5 – 15 inches with weight around 1.6 kg.

It is commonly observed in the rainforests of Southeast Asia and believed to be the world’s only venomous primate. While feeding on insects, fruits, and nectar, this nocturnal creature has some glands that generate toxins. When these toxins get mixed with the saliva, it results in a venomous bite, causing allergic reactions and pain.

9. Gila Monster

Gila Monster-most venomous animals

Gila monster is the second last member of our list of top 10 slowest animals in the world with the speed of 10 km/h. This lizard is titled as the “slowest lizard in the world”! Although, Gila monster is a slow-moving lizard that can climb slowly but it can defend itself very fast.

It appears in black and pinkish-orange color with bead-like scales on its body. Most of its lifetime is spent while resting underground and gathering enough fat reserves. Same as slow Loris, Gila monster has very powerful and venomous bite, but it delivers venom through grooved teeth, making it a more direct and potentially lethal threat.

10. Koala

koala Habitat

Koalas are known to be the closest relatives of Wombats, which are best known for their slow movement. According to study, their sleeping time is 20 hours a day as they require a lot of energy to digest the food. They move at the speed of 30 km/h, which is much larger than that of Gila monster. This speed is highest as compared to all other list participants that’s why ranked in end!

The purpose to sleep for extended periods of time and moving slowly is to conserve the body energy because koalas store very small amount of fat in their bodies. Moreover, they consume very high fiber and low nutrient diet to maintain their slow metabolic rate.

Decoding the Rankings

The list of top 10 slowest animals in the world is fully based on the “pure speed” as the defining factor for “slowest.” For instance, sea anemone, garden snail, starfish, and dwarf seahorse are those creatures which have incredibly slow speeds, measured in centimeters or millimeters per hour. Comparatively, three-toed sloth & giant tortoise can move at some higher speeds than previous ones. Consequently, banana slug, slow Loris, and Gila monster take the ending positions with their distinctive speeds.


Incredibly slow! They move at a leisurely pace of around 0.27 km/h, which is slower than a melting Popsicle on a hot day.

Among 2 species of sloths, 3 toed sloths are slower! They can move at a speed of about 0.27 kilometers per hour (0.17 miles per hour).

Yes, tortoises are slow. Their average speed is around 0.3 km/h, which is slower than a walking human.

Woodcocks are considered to be the slowest bird as they fly at low altitudes with an average speed of 5 mi/h (8 km/h).

Although, it is hard to believe that sharks are slow, yet it is true! Greenland Sharks are slowest and move at around 0.34 m/s.

Mudassar Ahmad

He is a seasoned blogger since 2012 and an M.Phil graduate in English Linguistics. He captivates readers with his eloquent prose and insightful perspectives. His passion for language and dedication to crafting compelling content make him a trusted voice in the online sphere. Explore the world through Ahmad's literary lens.

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