Some choose walking, others chose swimming, but many animals on this wonderful planet chose hopping and jumping as their primary means of movement.
People often ask how this is at all useful and whether walking isn’t easier – but you’d be surprised at how many animals that hop there are – and with a good reason!
Below is a list of animals that hop or jump in the wild:
- Jumping Spiders
* Note: animals are ranked in order of their search volume.
Scientific name (family): Cervidae
Even though they might not have been your first thought, deer are indeed incredible jumpers. Some specimens can jump as far as 15 feet in length and 8 feet in height. They usually do this because they’re hungry.
However, they won’t only jump to get into your garden – you can also often see them hopping around the woods. This type of movement isn’t rare and according to experts, deer are one of the animals that hop to escape predators.
Scientific name (order): Anura
Frogs are perhaps the most famous jumping animals, and they primarily use their jumping abilities to hop and swim away from predators. However, they also use it as their primary form of movement – they prefer it to walking.
The South African Sharp-Nosed frog is the best jumper out of the entire order – it can jump over 130 inches in a single leap. Given that it’s only 3 inches long, that’s the equivalent of a 6-foot tall person leaping 260 feet in a single bound.
Scientific name (family): Macropodidae
This beautiful creature from the Land Down Under will hop on two legs and reach speeds of up to 70 km/h! Usually, however, they only jump at a speed of 25 km/h.
At this rate, they can jump over 9 meters in a single bound. This is the most energy-efficient way of movement for them, as it allows them to cover a lot of ground in their search for food and water! Because of this, the kangaroos are probably the most well-known animals that hop.
Scientific name (family): Salmonidae
Many fish are known to jump – notably sharks and dolphins when they’re probing the surface of the water. However, salmon are one of the rare species of fish to literally jump.
This isn’t an isolated example either. Salmon often jump in order to clean their gills and their scales, but they also have to jump in order to climb rapids as they’re swimming upstream. They do this once a year to breed.
5. Jumping Spiders
Scientific name (family): Salticidae
A spider that can hop and fly might be a nightmare for some, but they’re definitely real! With over six thousand species in this family, they can be found all around the globe.
These spiders jump for two reasons – to catch prey and get away from predators. However, they can’t jump too far for human standards, leaping up to 6.3 inches.
For them, though – that’s a massive length – the equivalent of a 6-foot tall man jumping 75 feet in length!
Scientific name (family): Macropodidae
You read that right, wallabies come from the same family as kangaroos. They’re not exactly the same species. This small animal that hops like a kangaroo can’t exactly cover the same distance.
They can only jump up to 3 meters when necessary, but they usually don’t jump that far ahead. They’re also slower, reaching speeds of 20 to 25 km/h, with their top jumping speed being only 50 km/h.
Scientific name (genus): Lepus
These animals are incredibly swift, even by their own standards! They can achieve speeds of 80 km/h for short distances, and their hopping can achieve a speed of 55 km/h over longer distances.
Regarding height – they can leap up to 10 feet at once. This helps them avoid being eaten by predators, with the only predators they’re virtually defenseless against being birds of prey.
Scientific name (family): Grylloidea
There are many different species of crickets, but most of them can jump about 3 feet in length. This is, similarly to other jumping animals, a method of avoiding predators.
The camel cricket will actually jump at you if you get too close! However, crickets are harmless and you’re more of a danger to them than they are to you.
Scientific name (suborder): Caelifera
The last entry on our list, grasshoppers are some of the most powerful jumpers in the animal world. The grasshopper earned its name for becoming famous as an animal that hops, and with good reason. They can leap over 30 inches in length and they’ll often use that jump as a boost to flying away.
What’s even more impressive is that they can hop on one leg if need be. Similar to lizards that drop off their own tail to avoid danger, grasshoppers can literally lose a leg to get away from predators.
To put it all in a nutshell, there are many animals that hop, but kangaroos are definitely the most-hopping animal. They spend the entire day hopping around looking for food and they can reach incredible speeds when they’re at it!
However, they’re not the most powerful jumpers in this list. That title goes to the insect and some frogs. These animals have the innate ability to jump hundreds of times their own body length!
These abilities are usually used as a means of movement, but many smaller insects utilize their abilities to get away from predators, or in the case of the jumping spider – to catch up to their prey.