Kangaroos are known for being fast runners and high jumpers. They constantly jump, bounce, and leap, which they use to get away from predators and cover long distances.
Kangaroos are marsupials from the family Macropodidae. There are four main types, but they have similar body types which they use to jump high.
Kangaroos can reach heights of up to 6 feet. They also leap 25 feet horizontally.
What Is The Highest Recorded Jump By A Kangaroo?
Although most kangaroos only reach 6 feet in the air, the highest recorded jump by a kangaroo is 8 feet.
According to the Guinness World Records, a captive eastern gray kangaroo leaped over an 8-foot fence when they were startled by the sound of a car backfiring.
Although not confirmed, another report found a hunted red kangaroo jumped over a 10-foot stack of timber when fleeing.
How Do Kangaroos Jump?
Kangaroos jump using their strength, flexibility, and agility.
Kangaroos have short, but powerful limbs. When a kangaroo is getting ready to jump, it tucks its hind legs forward and pushes them back quickly, which moves both legs.
Its hind legs have stretchy tendons that act like a spring. This is what keeps them hopping for long periods of time.
To continue springing, kangaroos land with their tail and forefeet on the ground. The movements are so quick they can keep jumping and running without growing tired.
Red kangaroos, for instance, run or jump up to 35 mph.
Why Do Kangaroos Jump?
Kangaroos jump when they need to get away from a predator or they are hunting for food. Kangaroos have few predators, but their natural predators are fast.
For example, the dingo can run up to 30 mph and frequently chase kangaroos, especially young and vulnerable ones. Dingos are medium-sized canines that look a lot like domestic dogs.
Hopping is also just a part of their lives. It takes less energy for a kangaroo to hop than it takes them to run.
Kangaroos must conserve energy when moving because they live in dry and hot conditions. Kangaroos are native to Australia and New Guinea, specifically flat areas.
Using too much energy can lead to dehydration and exhaustion.
Kangaroos are small to medium animals.
Depending on the type and their age, they range from 3-8 feet tall. They also weigh between 40 and 200 pounds.
Rarely do kangaroos stand or pose on their hind legs though, so their height is hidden.
There is also a big difference between weight and height.
For example, the eastern gray kangaroo is the heaviest marsupial in the world, but not the tallest. However, red kangaroos are the largest, but not necessarily the heaviest.
What Is The Largest Kangaroo?
The red kangaroo is the largest kangaroo species. These kangaroos reach heights up to 8 feet and weigh 37 to 187 pounds.
While kangaroos are the largest living marsupials, over 40,000 years ago, diprotodonts, an even larger marsupial, lived in Australia.
Scientists used skeletal evidence to determine their size. They are thought to have been 9 feet and 10 inches long and weigh up to 6,172 pounds.
Are Kangaroos Stronger Than Humans?
Kangaroos are surprisingly stronger than humans. They’d have the best chance in a fight. Kangaroos have attacked humans before with their powerful punches and kicks.
Kangaroos also have a powerful bite, exceeding 900 PSI. The average is 925 PSI. They use their powerful jaws when defending themselves.
Most kangaroos are herbivores, enjoying a plant-based diet, however, a select few eat meat when food sources are limited.
Kangaroo arms are weak since they mostly use their legs, so humans have a slight advantage, but their kicks are still powerful.
Kangaroo Jump Comparison
Kangaroos have mighty powerful legs which help them hop and travel.
But how do they compare with other animals also known for their impressive jumping abilities?
Grasshoppers might be a lot smaller than kangaroos, but they can jump about 25 cm. The specifics depend on the species.
While 25 cm might not sound impressive, compared to their size, it is! Grasshoppers only grow between 1-7 cm long.
Jumping spiders, as their name suggests, jump!
Technically, jumping spiders is a group of over 6,000 species. However, some of the most common jumping spider species have impressive hops! F
or example, the bold jumper can jump up to 50 inches. These tiny little spiders can jump 10 times their height!
Tigers jump higher than kangaroos, but they don’t have the stamina to continue hopping as kangaroos can. Instead, tigers jump up to 16 feet.
They use their back legs as a spring and sometimes run before jumping up. They surpass kangaroos but run about the same mph.
Kangaroos could run away if a tiger were to sneak up on them, but tigers have stronger jaws and sharper claws.
Alligators are another impressive animal that leaps up into the air and out of the water. Alligators, despite their massive size and weight, leap up to 6 feet in the air.
Usually, they leap 6 feet in the air when they want to catch a predator on a low-hanging branch or the surface of the water.
Gorillas are massive animals. While both gorillas and kangaroos are muscular animals, gorillas have larger bodies and are more aggressive. Thankfully, these two animals don’t live in the same area.
Gorillas can jump, but not very high. However, it depends on the species.
For example, a Western lowland gorilla can only jump up to 4 feet. Instead, they are fast and live on the ground for most of their lives, spending only a short time in trees.
Overall, kangaroos are excellent jumpers. They can hop up to 6 feet in the air and cover distances of 25 feet. They use their strong hindlegs like springs to continue hopping throughout their day.
Kangaroos are also fast runners and take off quickly when they sense danger. Unlike other animals, kangaroos don’t grow tired from hopping since it saves energy compared to running.