It’s fun with frogs time! In honor of our Leap Year I have decided to do a post dedicated to all things bouncy and boingy and fun that jump, bound, and leap….(you get the idea). Of course, most people think of frogs when they think of leaping, so let’s go that route first.
Frogs are amazing leapers. They can jump over 20 times their own body length using super powerful hind legs. If a human could do that, it would be like you jumping 100 feet! In fact, the world record for longest frog jump was 33 feet, 5.5 inches – done by a frog named Santje at a derby in South Africa. This frog was an South African Sharp Nosed frog. An American Bullfrog, a species you can see in abundance in our state holds the U.S. record with a respectable 21 feet, 5.75 inches, set back in 1986.
Another great leaper of the animal kingdom is of course the Kangaroo. The largest species is the Red Kangaroo and their largest leaps are about 40 feet long, with an average of 25-30 feet and a height of 10 feet. The record for a big Red has been measured at about 44 feet, 4 inches! They can keep up a speed of almost 25 miles per hour for some distance, with short bursts to 43.5 miles an hour.
As for the cats, who are hunters extraordinaire… Tigers can leap more than 30 feet through the air onto unsuspecting prey. With its exceptionally long hind legs, the puma effortlessly jumps distances of more than 40 feet. Even the relatively short-legged lion, a pack hunter without much need for jumping, can spring as far as four-and-a-half times the length of its body, i.e., some 40 feet. (Thanks Animal Planet!)
These are just a few of the very many creatures who use jumping and leaping for locomotion. Some use it to get around, others for hunting and still others for escape. Either way, it’s a pretty nifty adaptation. Humans are at the low end of the scale, barely being able to jump over twice their body length sometimes. That’s why we invented pogo sticks! Maybe one day, we’ll develop the ability to bounce and jump like some other species…