Animals have many different ways of moving. Some animals fly, others swim, and a few even slither along the ground.
Many animals have a way of moving across the ground and a large number of these ground-dwelling creatures have the ability to jump.
For some animals, jumping is a form of locomotion whereas others use it for defense or to help them catch prey.
There are so many different reasons why animals have the ability to jump and not all of these animals have the powerful leg muscles that you might expect.
In this article, we will look at some of the many species of animals that can jump, hop, or leap.
Kangaroos are arguably the most famous jumping animals in the world. These large marsupials are native to Australia and New Guinea and there are several different species.
The largest is the red kangaroo which can grow to over five feet tall and weigh nearly 200 pounds.
Despite their large size, all types of kangaroos are powerful jumpers. They have thick and powerful hind legs that allow them to hop at surprisingly high speeds.
Kangaroos can jump distances of 30 feet and reach heights of up to 11 feet!
Kangaroos are one of the few animals that use hopping as their main mode of transportation and they are by far the largest that do so.
Their large size and weight is no barrier when it comes to jumping as these powerful animals can move across large distances without getting tired.
They’re also able to do all of this on a diet of vegetation. Although the exact composition of their diet differs from species to species, all kangaroos are herbivores and they’re also very solitary creatures.
Although wallabies are very similar to kangaroos, they are different animals and shouldn’t be confused for the same species.
Like kangaroos, wallabies are amazing jumpers and they also have very powerful hind legs that they use to help them move and travel across long distances.
Wallabies are active around dusk and dawn and they are prey to a variety of animals, such as feral cats and wild dogs.
Wallabies don’t only use their strong legs for leaping, however, as they can also use them as a defense system against these predators.
They usually reach lengths of 18 to 41 inches and can leap distances of up to nine and a half feet! They can also reach speeds of up to 30 miles per hour as they jump.
Another animal that is commonly associated with jumping is the hare. These creatures are very similar to rabbits but are bigger in size and have both longer ears and longer hind legs. T
hey can be found across North America, Europe, and parts of Asia.
For their size, hares are incredibly fast and able jumpers. Most hares are only around 16 to 28 inches from head to tail but they can jump up to 11 feet in a single bound.
They can even reach speeds of up to 45 miles per hour when they get going!
Hares are generally solitary animals and instead of creating burrows, they live in open fields and use scattered brush, called forms, for shelter.
Hares have many predators that prey on them and although their speed helps them stay safe, they are still occasionally caught.
Also known as blue sheep, bharals are a caprine that is native to the high Himalayas and can be found inhabiting the cliffs and hills.
They rarely venture away from these cliffs as the cliffs give them some protection against potential predators such as snow leopards.
Bharals can leap from one cliff to another, allowing them to escape any predator that tries to catch them.
This can be very nerve-wracking to watch, but bharals are very surefooted and are able to navigate even some of the most dangerous cliffs.
They can jump lengths of up to two meters, allowing them to jump from rock to rock.
The diet of bharals mainly consists of grass, however, if this is in short supply they will also eat other vegetation such as herbs and shrubs.
These are rock-climbing antelope that are found in mountainous areas across eastern and southern Africa.
Like the bharals, klipspringers are very agile across rocks and they have feet that are specially designed for jumping and walking across landscapes that are steep.
If they do fall, they are cushioned by their thick coats which serve as a thin layer of armor and protect them.
They’re pretty small for antelope as they only grow to between 17 to 23 inches high. Despite this, they can leap distances of up to 25 feet.
This means that when we compare body size to jumping distance, klipspringers can reach the highest distances of all mammals.
They are herbivores that feed on fruits, flowers, and plants. Klipspringers are preyed on by many animals such as leopards and jackals.
However, their leaping skills and ability to make loud and startling noises help to protect them.
With a name that ends in ‘hopper,’ it’s no surprise that grasshoppers can hop! Grasshoppers have been around for a long time and can be dated back to over 250 million years ago.
They’re herbivores that largely consume vegetables, pasture, and cereals.
Grasshoppers have powerful hind legs that allow them to leap several times higher than their height.
The largest grasshoppers can grow up to four inches long but on average, they’re two to three inches in length. Despite this small size, they can leap distances of around two and a half feet.
The reason for this amazing jumping ability is that their legs act as mini-catapults. Grasshopper knees are designed to store energy when they bend their knees.
When the knee is then straightened, this energy is released and this helps them to catapult themselves far into the air.
There are many similarities between grasshoppers and crickets and the two species are distant relatives.
Like grasshoppers, crickets also can jump much further than their body size would suggest. Crickets are generally under two inches long but they can jump up to three and a half feet.
Crickets are nocturnal insects and eat an omnivorous diet. They can consume larvae, fruit, and seeds.
These green amphibians are also very famous for their ability to jump.
There are over 7,000 different species of frogs and they can be found in a wide variety of habitats around the world. They’re most commonly found near tropical forests, however.
Frogs have an average length of around three inches but they can jump up to an amazing 10 feet. The actual length of their jumps can differ greatly from species to species.
The frog species that can jump the furthest in relation to its body length is the South African sharp-nosed frog. These spectacular frogs can leap distances that are around 44 times their body length.
The main reason why frogs use their leaping ability is to avoid predators.
If you’re scared of spiders, the idea of jumping spiders might be terrifying to you! Thankfully, jumping spiders are very tiny spiders as most are under half an inch in length.
Even the largest jumping spiders will only reach just under an inch. Their bodies and legs are covered in fur and these small spiders can be found all around the world.
Jumping spiders can jump lengths of up to 10 inches, meaning that some of them can jump distances that are up to 50 times their body length.
Their eight legs have a hydraulic system that propels them into the air and allows them to reach these great distances.
There are many reasons why jumping spiders jump. They can jump when threatened and they also jump to hunt the insects that make up their diet. Jumping spiders can also jump for fun!
These aquatic mammals live their lives in the ocean so their form of jumping is very different from the other animals that we’ve included on this list so far.
If you’ve ever been dolphin-watching or have seen a nature documentary that features them, you will have no doubt seen how dolphins can jump out of the sea.
Dolphins do this so that they can see above the water for navigation purposes and also see animals or features in the distance. They often use jumps to search for prey.
Dolphins can swim at fast speeds of around 25 miles per hour and when they jump, they can reach heights of between 15 to 30 feet.
In this article, we introduced several different animals that can jump, leap, and hop. Many of the animals are incredible jumpers when compared to their size and weight and use jumping as their primary mode of locomotion.
Other animals only use their ability to jump in certain circumstances and can only cover shorter distances.
We hope that this article has taught you about some interesting animals that can jump.