The 10 Slowest Animals in the World (With Videos)

Slow animals are not necessarily lazy animals. In many cases, these animals have simply adapted to their environment and lifestyle in order to conserve energy. No matter the reason, these 10 animals are among the slowest-moving creatures on Earth.

1. Giant Tortoise

When you observe a Giant Tortoise lumbering around, it’s hard to imagine that they can move any faster than they are. After all, their top speed is only 0.3 kilometers per hour and their shells weigh them down significantly. Giant tortoises are more likely to walk between their feeding areas during the morning or evening, spending the remainder of their time grazing and resting.

2. Sloth

Sloths have an unnoticeably slow metabolism, which allows them to move lethargically and slowly through trees. Because sloths have poor eyesight and energy-saving adaptations, they cannot move quickly. If a predator were to attack, they would have no way of defending themselves or running away quickly.

3. Garden Snails

Garden Snails have a pretty low top speed of only one meter per hour. They have terrible eyesight, so they stay in trees most of the time and don’t move around much, making them some of the world’s slowest creatures. Slugs and snails travel pretty slowly because they move by contracting their muscles to create pedal waves.

4. Starfish

Although not widely researched, most starfish are known to move very slowly, using their arms to crawl at a speed of 15 cm per minute. Although starfish move at an incredibly slow pace, they have been known to travel farther distances by using ocean currents. The bottom surface of a starfish is composed of tube feet, which help the creature move very slowly.

5. Seahorse

Seahorses are rather sluggish swimmers compared to other fish in the sea. Dwarf seahorses have a top speed of only 5 feet per hour, making them the slowest fish swimmers according to Guinness World Records. They move the slowest of any and all species of fish as they can only move through the water using a minuscule fin in the center of their backs.

6. Banana Slug

The banana slug’s name alludes to its physical similarity to a ripe (or overripe, if it has spots) banana. One of the sloth’s defining characteristics is its lack of haste, as it moves at a meandering six and a half inches per minute. The average length of this creature is 10 inches, though it has been known to grow up to 12 inches. It can move as fast as 6.5 inches per minute and its coloration varies depending on diet, light exposure, and moisture content in the air.

7. American Woodcock

The woodcock is known for its mesmerizing nocturnal courtship “sky dance”, gradually fluttering upwards into the dark sky in large circles, only to dive back down to Earth moments later. It can be tough to see these birds during the daytime as they usually stay concealed in wooded areas. As the day comes to an end, an American Woodcock meanders from the protective trees of the forest to a small clearing close by.

8. Manatees

Though manatees can epically swim up to 20 miles per hour, they typically only cruise at a speed of three to five miles per hour. They move slowly and elegantly, much like a dolphin. Their relaxed nature makes them great animal companions. Manatees often lazily graze in shallow waters or sleep soundly in the silt.

9. Slow Loris

The slow loris is a small, nocturnal primate that moves slowly and deliberately, making little to no noise. When feeling threatened, they will stop moving entirely and remain stationary in an attempt to camouflage themselves. Even thoughSlow lorises are found in many areas, they remain difficult to detect. Their habitats include bamboo forests, forest edges, and dense scrubs.

10. Sea Anemone

Sea anemones live at the bottom of the ocean and share similarities with both flowers and corals. Although they’re beautiful, sea anemones are dangerous to corals since their tentacles contain poisonous cells. The anemone moves aminably slow, side-crawling at a rate of 4 centimeters per hour.

Final Thoughts

There you have it! These are 10 slowest animals in the world. While some of these creatures are certainly slower than others, they all have their own unique adaptations that help them survive in their environments. We hope you enjoyed learning about these fascinating creatures!