These marine animals have built-in accelerators

In studying what allows dolphins to swim so fast, a team of US scientists using digital video equipment at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in Troy, N.Y., have determined that dolphins can generate 212 pounds of thrust with their tails. That's more than triple the amount an exceptional swimmer like Michael Phelps, the winner of eight gold medals at the Beijing Olympic Games, can produce. Determining accurate speeds through open ocean waters is difficult, according to the website, but in its efforts to compile a list of speediest marine creatures, killer whales and the Dall's porpoise get the nod with a reported top speed of 34.5 m.p.h. The fastest in-water swimmers, in elasmo website's estimation, with their speeds in miles per hour:

  • 1. Killer whale 34.5
  • 2. Dall's porpoise 34.5
  • 3. Shortfin mako shark 31.0
  • 4. Shortfin pilot whale 30.4
  • 5. Blue whale 29.8
  • 6. Barracuda 27.0
  • 7. Fin whale 25.4
  • 8. California sea lion 25.0
  • 9. Pacific spotted dolphin 24.7
  • 10. Blue shark 24.5
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