All animals are very important to the ecosystem. We depend on animals and animals depend on us directly and indirectly through what we call as food chain. When it comes to animals kingdom the most glorified ones are the largest so called the “big five” and the fastest ones but hardly do we know the slow paced creatures.
At times the slow paced animals win races through cheating and intelligence beating their competitors who are more faster and are the races favourite and on this am referring to the stories and fables of the hare and the tortoise. However since we have heard enough about the big five and the fastest animals let’s have a look at our friends the top 10 slowest animals in the world today.
Also known as sea cows these marine mammals are one of the slowest animals on the planet. They are greyish brown in colour, they have thick skin and what aids their movement are the front flippers and their powerful flat tails.one amazing thing about manatee despite their slow speed, very small eyes, and lack of outer ears these mammals are said to hear and have a very good eyesight. Manatee’s mode of communication is by squealing under the water to demonstrate fear, strain, or some pleasure. Since manatees are herbivorous they feed on freshwater and salty water plants. The most likely areas you will encounter a manatee is Caribbean Sea, the Amazon basin, West Africa, Gulf of Mexico and West Indian. Manatees don’t actually have a predator we humans are their cause of death through habitat destruction. They have a speed of 19mph.
9. Gila monster
This is not the ordinary lizard that you get to play with, a Giza monster is one of the largest lizard venomous native to the United States. It grows to a length of up to two feet and can weigh up to two pounds.to identify a Gila monster they have black bodies that are marked with patterns of yellow orange and pink. The best places you might come across this monster south-western U.S. and north-western Mexico in rocks, burrows, thickets. What a Gila considers as tasty diet are bird’s eggs, insects, lizards, frogs among other foods. They have a speed of 15 mph.
You will find these nocturnal strepsirrhine primates in Southeast Asia. Loris usually have a human like hands adapted in grasping of tree branches, round heads, and usually have a toxic bite. Normally these primates usually move at a very slow pace such that they hardly make a noise and when they are threatened by predators they remain motionless. Their only predators are we humans, snakes, and hawk eagles .these animals usually are omnivores and plants, small animals fruits all form part of their juicy diet. Over the years their population have decreased by alarming levels due to humans trading them with the belief that they possess super powers and hence they are endangered species on the IUCN Red List. They move at a speed of 2km per hour.
7. Sea Horse
These are types of fishes that that belong to genus Hippocampus and their 54 species of them around the world.. They are not just unique types of fish in relation to their monster like equine shape but they are also monogamous and mate for life.one more astonishing fact is there the only animals on earth that the male bares the unborn. You will find them in the shallow and tropical waters around the world. What a sea horse normally enjoys as diet is small crustaceans. The animals are said to be very slow swimmers with just a speed of 1.5m per hour.
6. Banana Slug
Many people fear and dread slugs hence a lot of people tend to kill them. This animal which is the second largest species of terrestrial slug in the world has a bright yellow slimy and shell-less is one of the harmless animals out there. It only eats dead organic materials, leaves, animals waste and turn it into soil. Some of their predators are snakes, ducks, salamanders, geese, shrews, moles and other predators. They move at a speed of 0.006 mph.
5. Koala Bear
Let’s first understand that koala are not bears but they are marsupial meaning the young ones are born immature and grow later on the pouch. The correct name is “Koalas”. They are mostly found in Australia. Koalas are nocturnal and they like feeding on eucalypt woods leaves. Due to poor eye sight and there slow nature they usually spend most of their time in the trees. Although they are disadvantaged when it comes to speed they have good sense of smell and sound too that helps them evade predators. Koalas greatest threat is indigenous Australians who hunt them down since they are believed to have super abilities and habitat loss being another threat.
4. Giant Tortoise
These are iconic species from the Galapagos and the largest species of tortoise today. In the whole world there only two places where you can find a giant tortoise, in Seychelles and in Ecuador Galapagos Islands. They are one of the heaviest small animals you will find since they can weigh about 415 kg and can grow to 1.3 metres long and amazing thing they can live for more than 100 years. Their men threats are dogs, cats and other animals who compete with in food such as cattle’s. They move with a speed of 0.17 mph (0.27 km/h).
3. Garden snail
One of the most common widespread species of the land snail also called by other names such as Helix aspersa. You will find this snail in every part of the world but its native to Europe. This mollusc unlike a slug it is well protected by a shell mostly used as a shield. They move from one place to another by gliding motion aided by release of mucus for reducing friction between its body and the surface. Garden snails usually are herbivorous and since it feeds on human related food crops it’s considered as a pest. Garden slow are slow indeed very slow and can only manage 1.3 centimetre per second.
2. star fish
Though it’s referred to as a star fish it’s not really a fish and that’s why scientist like to refer to it as a sea star since it’s an echinoderm. There are about 2000 sea star species living in all world’s oceans. These creatures are famous due to their distinctive shape, their ability to generate limbs and their ability also to consume prey outside their bodies. The most dangerous prey to this fish is other fish, sea birds and sea otters. They move at a speed of 0.02 miles per hour.
1. Three-Toed Sloth
This is the most slowest animal on the planet and their exists both a two toed and a three toed sloths. They can be much recognized by the long prominent claws they do have on each foot, that help them have a strong grip in the tress. These animals spend nearly all their lifetime in trees and they can be so slow that even an algae growth occurs on its furry coat. You can find these animals in central and South American rain forest. They usually travel a sloth travels at an average speed of 0.24 km/h.
On conclusion I want to urge everyone in the world to know and understand that irrespective of how dangerous an animal can be it does have a role to play in the ecosystem. Let’s all be champions of protecting the endangered species through all means by raising our voices against wildlife trade, pouching, and destruction of their natural habitat. Remember that the generations to come also need to enjoy the view of these animals let’s not be selfish and be the number one reason of their extinction.