Many animals on this beautiful planet choose to hop and jump as their main mode of movement.
People often ask how it is even remotely useful and whether walking isn’t easier – but you’d be surprised at how many different species that hop there are – and with a good reason.
Here is a list of animals that hop or jump in the natural environment:
Scientific name (family): Cervidae
Deer are amazing jumpers. Some can jump up to 15 feet long and 8 feet high. They usually do that when they’re hungry. But there’s more to deer than meets the eye.
They are also very social animals. They live in herds and communicate with each other through sounds, scent, and body language.
The most important thing to know about deer is that they are herbivores. That means they eat plants for food. This helps them stay healthy because plant-based foods contain lots of fiber and nutrients.
But they also love eating grasses and leaves. So they spend much of their time grazing.
This makes them great athletes. Because they spend so much time running and jumping, they develop strong legs and powerful muscles.
That’s why deer are such incredible jumpers. Their leg muscles are so strong that they can leap up to 15 feet long.
And they can jump even higher. Some deer can jump up to eight feet high.
They don’t just run away from danger; they also move quickly by jumping. Experts say that deer are among the animals that hop to avoid predators.
Scientific name (order): Anura
The average frog is only 3 inches long but can hop many times its length. While trying to escape various predators, they use their hind legs like springboards.
Frogs have two sets of toes on their front legs. The first set is webbed and used for swimming. The second set is not webbed and is used for hopping.
Some small frogs can jump 50 times their length, while most can jump 20 times their body length!
They are renowned for their jumping abilities and are considered one of the best animal hoppers.
Scientific name (family): Macropodidae
Kangaroos can hop about 25 feet (7.6 m) in one jump. They can reach heights of 6 feet (1.8 m). They use their legs like springs and hops to get around.
Their back legs are longer than their front legs. And they have five toes on each foot.
Their muscular legs and tail help them jump. Their tail provides counterweight when the animal hops and gives them extra power.
Scientific name (family): Salmonidae
Salmon is one of the few species of fish that jump out of the water.
I’m sure you’ve seen this on TV documentaries where salmon are moving upstream to spawn and jumping out of the water to get up various obstacles.
Salmon are born in freshwater rivers and streams. Then they grow up in the ocean. When they return to the river to breed, they swim upriver to lay eggs.
When the eggs hatch, the baby salmon swim downstream to the sea.
Scientific name (family): Salticidae
Instead of snaring prey in a web, these spiders stalk and leap at their prey. They can leap up to 6.3 inches despite their small size. This is how they hunt and catch insects. Jumping spiders are known for their amazing leaping ability.
Scientific name (family): Macropodidae
Wallabies can jump up to 3 meters (9.8 ft.) when necessary.
This small animal hops like a kangaroo and can’t cover the same distance as Kangaroos jumping. They are also slower than a kangaroo.
Wallabies are native to Australia. They live in forests and eat fruits, seeds, flowers, and other plants.
Scientific name (genus): Lepus
There are hares living in Japan, North America, and Eurasia. They can jump 11.9 ft. (3.65 m). They are also fast movers and run up to speeds of 45 mph
Their body size, speed, and jumping distance allow them to escape from predators quickly. With predators like foxes, owls, and coyotes, they need to be fast to escape.
Hares are agile animals that can easily move through thick brush or dense grass. They are usually found near open areas such as meadows, fields, and pastures.
Scientific name (family): Grylloidea
Most cricket species can jump about 3.5 ft. (106 cm) long. Similar to other jumping animals, this is a way of escaping predators.
Crickets don’t bite unless you get too close. They’re not dangerous to you. They eat bugs, grass, flowers, seeds, and fruit.
You’ll find them in gardens, fields, and parks. They communicate with each other through sound waves.
Scientific name (suborder): Caelifera
Grasshoppers are among the most powerful jumpers of any animal. They can leap over 30 inches in length and often use that jump as an extra boost to fly away.
Grasshoppers use their hind legs as small catapults. As the grasshopper prepares to jump, it contracts its large flexor muscles slowly, bending its hind legs slightly. The cuticle within the knee acts as a spring, storing energy. Grasshoppers then release their leg muscles, allowing the spring to release its energy.
We’ve only touched on a small selection of animals that hop. As you may have noticed, many animals hop to escape danger from predators or any other reason.
Many animals have adapted to their environment to help them survive. There are many examples of animals using these skills for hunting as well as escaping danger.
I hope you enjoyed learning more about hopping animals!