Animals on our planet move at varying speeds from very slow to very fast. Here we are focussing on the slow animals that are worth studying. They have interesting behaviors and mechanisms in their bodies that limit their speed. Let’s see who these slow animals are !

Koala Bear

Koala Sleep Relax Tree Furry  - chacha8080 / Pixabay
chacha8080 / Pixabay

The Koala bear is usually a very slow animal. It spends its daytime mostly on trees. Their main food is eucalyptus leaves since they are herbivores. Their body movements are slow in nature.

Koalas are native to Australia. Koalas weigh from 5 to 15 kgs. They are usually grey-colored. Koalas are also listed as vulnerable species.

The diet of Koalas does not contain a lot of nutrients to be utilized. Therefore they do not have a significant amount of energy to spend on body movements.

Koala Marsupial Mammal Animal Tree  - sam--rye / Pixabay
sam–rye / Pixabay

Koalas move slowly and they can move at around 18 mph speed.

The daily routine of koala bears consists mostly of sleeping. They usually sleep up to twenty hours per single day. So they spend more than 2/3 of the day sleeping.

Koalas live around 13 to 18 years but they are heavily hunted by man.

Koala Bear Trees Branches Leaves  - freemake / Pixabay
freemake / Pixabay

Three-Toed Sloth

The three-toed sloth is considered the slowest mammal on the earth.

Sloth Three Finger Sloth Jungle  - Myagi / Pixabay
Myagi / Pixabay

The daily routine of sloths mainly contains sleeping, resting, and eating. They prefer to rest on treetops in the jungles.

Sloths take a diet that is poor in nutrients. Because of that, they have a very low-calorie intake. Sloths also have a poor speed in metabolism. In other words, they produce a very small amount of energy. That is why they have to preserve energy. Since their bodies cannot provide energy efficiently they have to travel very slowly.

These sloths weigh around 5 kgs. Traveling on the ground is a more difficult process than swimming in waters for the sloths. Sloths usually live more than 20 years. Three-toes sloths are found in Costa Rica.

Sloth Tree Forest Animal Mammal  - Free-Photos / Pixabay
Free-Photos / Pixabay

Three-toed sloths can travel around 5 km per single day. Thereafter they usually sleep for around 15 hours. These memories spend 2/3 of the day sleeping and resting. Three-toed sloths are usually spotted hanging from branches. They use a powerful grip from their long claws when hanging from branches of trees.

Garden snail

Garden snail is molluscum species and therefore they bear a calcareous shell on their body. Since their shell is large compared to their small fleshy body their moving speed is highly limited. They usually travel a few feet per hour.

Snail Shell Leaves Plant Gastropod  - JuttaKuehl / Pixabay
JuttaKuehl / Pixabay

When active the head and the tail of the snail emerge out of its shell. They have tentacles on their head as well. There are right-side coiled as well as left-side coiled species.

Snail Animal Grass Shell Mollusc  - Petrucy / Pixabay
Petrucy / Pixabay

Since these animals are herbivores, they entirely depend on tree leaves for their nutrition. To ease locomotion they secrete mucus along their way. The Garden snail is considered a pest in most countries and an edible animal in some countries.

Banana Slug

The banana slug is a creature with a bright yellow body shaped like a banana. They do not contain a shell. They are found in North America. Some banana slugs can change their color according to their health condition and habitat. Slugs have tentacles as sensory organs. Since they do not have a shell to protect their fleshy body from sunlight, they tend to travel at night. But on cool rainy days, they tend to appear in the daytime as well.


The slug moves forward by contracting its body in a rhythmic movement. Its slime can absorb water and helps it in locomotion.

Giant Tortoise

The giant tortoise is one of the slowest reptiles. Since they have thick legs and a heavy shell on their body their locomotion is limited. Giant tortoises weigh more than 300 kgs and that is why their speed is limited to less than 1 mph. Giant tortoises are found in the Seychelles islands and Ecuador.

Giant Tortoises Animals Panzer Zoo  - Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay
Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay
Giant Tortoise Eat Animal Panzer  - Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay
Alexas_Fotos / Pixabay

Just like other herbivores we discussed before giant tortoises also have a diet poor in nutrition as well as slow metabolism. Most of their daytime is spent either resting or sleeping. These tortoises are adapted to survive in tough conditions on earth. They can survive up to a year without food.


Starfish although the name says fish is not really a fish. It is considered a marine animal with slow movements.

Starfish Sand Sea Star Sea Creature  - Pexels / Pixabay
Pexels / Pixabay

They usually have a central disc and five arms and their arms are covered with suckers. They have organs that are like pincers that help them to move in the ocean. They travel up to 0.06 mph speed. Although they are slow in locomotion they are carnivores.

Starfish Shell Sea Life Beach  - paulbr75 / Pixabay
paulbr75 / Pixabay

The body of a starfish contains a thin cuticle. The outer layers of their body contain calcium carbonate as ossicles. Their body contains a hydraulic system that helped them in locomotion. Starfish shows both sexual as well as asexual reproduction. There are hundreds of starfish species in seabed and lifespan and the weight among these species varies vastly.


With long hands and tennis ball-like eyes, Loris is an extraordinary primate that is worth studying.

slender loris

They have relatively slow movement and most of the time these animals are active at night. They prefer to hide in the dark. Some depend on insects as food and some depend on fruits and leaves as well. Lorises are found in tropical countries like Sri Lanka, India, and some other southeast Asian countries.

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Anuradhika Lakmali

Anuradhika Lakmali is a co-founder of Science A Plus learning network. She is working as a government teacher and has interest in chemistry, biology, phisics and self development.