There are more than 10 million different animal species in the world, and each animal uses some way of locomotion.
Without the power of movement, many animals today would not exist. Agility and fast movements for certain species are necessary abilities for everyday survival.
There are several different ways that animals move. Animals that hop, crawling animals, while some animals swim or fly.
Today, we are going to talk about animals that hop. We will also see which animals hop the furthest and other interesting animal jumping facts!
14 Animals That Hop
Scientific Name: Macropus
Jump Length: 25 ft. (7.6 m)
Kangaroos are unique marsupials, native to Australia and New Guinea. They are the largest hopping animal species in the world, which makes their legs extremely strong.
Even though kangaroos can move slowly on all fours, when it comes to moving fast, they hop. Kangaroo’s hopping is quite different from ours. If we would try to hop as a main way of locomotion, we would get tired very quickly. But not the kangaroos.
Fun Fact: When translated – Macropus means big foot!
Kangaroos can cover around 25 feet (7.6 m) in one single leap, reaching heights of 6 feet (1.8 m).
Their hind legs, besides hopping, are also used as a weapon against predators and also for fighting against other kangaroos.
Kangaroos are solitary animals, and they usually hop through the world alone. Their diet depends on the species, but all kangaroo species eat some sort of plant matter food.
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Scientific Name: Leporidae
Jump Length: 11.9 ft. (3.65 m)
Hares are quick little creatures that live in open and wide areas of Japan, North America, and Eurasia.
Not only do hares move fast, but they are also such good jumpers, especially if we consider their size. Jumping more than 11 feet and running with speeds of 45 mph (72 kph) makes them almost impossible to catch.
Fun Fact: During the breeding season, female hares fight one another for mating rights!
However, coyotes, owls, hawks, foxes, and wolves are commonly seen capturing these little speedy creatures.
Most hares are solitary, and instead of burrowing, they create resting places called forms. In the wild, hares mostly prefer eating grass, buds, roots, and also different fruits, depending on the season.
Scientific Name: Pseudois nayaur
Jump Length: 6.5 ft. (2 m)
Bharals, also known as blue sheep, are pretty unusual animals. They inhabit cliffs and hills of the Himalayas.
Bharals rarely go far away from cliffs, as they use them to escape potential predators. These sheep-like creatures are very athletic animals, and they can jump quite far.
Fun Fact: Bharals are the main food source for snow leopards!
Watching bharals as they hop from one cliff to another and moving around rocky areas is not a pleasant sight for people with a fear of heights.
Blue sheep mainly feed on grass; however, with the grass scarcity, they eat shrubs and herbs.
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Scientific Name: Caelifera
Jump Length: 2.5 ft. (76 cm)
Grasshoppers are one of the most ancient insects in the world. They exist since 250 million years ago.
One of the main reasons for their longevity is their superb hopping abilities. When cornered, a grasshopper will use its powerful legs to jump far away from danger.
Fun Fact: If a person could jump far as grasshoppers, it could jump over an entire football field!
Grasshopper legs actually function as a tiny catapult. In a special part of the knee, they collect the energy by bending their knees. After they relax their knee muscles, they release the stored energy and catapult themselves far away.
These super jumpers are plant-eaters, and they mainly feed on cereals, pasture, and vegetables.
Scientific Name: Grylloidea
Jump Length: 3.5 ft. (106 cm)
Crickets are distant relatives to grasshoppers, and just like their hopping cousins, crickets can jump quite high. The most common crickets, house and field crickets, are also the highest jumpers. They can jump about 3.5 feet.
These nocturnal insects eat both plant and meat food, including flowers, seeds, fruit, larvae.
Fun Fact: Male crickets make songs by rubbing their wings together!
In different parts of the world, crickets are considered a delicacy. This is not a surprising fact if we take into consideration that crickets contain more protein than beef meat on the same weight basis!
Scientific Name: Oreotragus oreotragus
Jump Length: 25 ft. (7.6 m)
Klipspringers are small antelopes that live in rocky parts of Africa. They are also animals that hop to move, and they can cover an unreal distance of 25 ft. in one hop.
Their feet are specialized for walking and jumping on steep and hilly landscapes. They also have a thick coat that serves as armor, which helps them survive in case of a fall.
Fun Fact: Klipspringers are the highest jumping mammal animals relative to body size!
Klipspringers are primarily browsers, and they eat flowers, fruits, and different young plants.
Klipspringers main predators are leopards, hyenas and jackals. And when they sense the danger, klipspringers make loud alarms by whistling through the nose.
7. Jumping Spiders
Scientific Name: Salticidae
Jump Length: 10 in. (25 cm)
These fuzzy little spiders are great jumpers, and they earned their names. Jumping spiders not only hop for fun, but they jump to hunt. However, they also jump in response to sudden threats.
Jumping spiders are tiny spider species, with a body length of 0.04-098 in. (1 to 25 mm), but their hydraulic limb systems allow them to jump over high distances. Jumping spiders can hop about 50 times their body length.
Fun Fact: Jumping spiders have 4 pairs of eyes!
Jumping spiders can be found in almost every corner of the world, and they prefer eating various insects. However, some species also include nectar as a part of their diet.
8. Kangaroo Rats
Scientific Name: Dipodomys
Jump Length: 9 ft. (2.75 m)
Another big jumper comes from a rodent family, native to North American regions. By the very name of the animal (kangaroo rat), you can assume that jumping is their main way of moving.
Kangaroo rats have big long hind legs, which are their main hopping tools when facing danger from many different predators.
Fun Fact: Kangaroo rats live in deserts, and they can survive without having to drink water!
These tiny rodents primarily feed on seeds, however, at a certain time of the season, they also eat insects.
Scientific Name: Anura
Jump Length: 10 ft. (3 m)
With an average size of 3 inches, frogs can hop multiple times their own body length. Frogs are widely distributed species, yet, these jumping amphibians are found around tropical forests the most.
There are more than 7 thousand frog species, and most have the ability to jump. However, jumping capabilities can vary hugely, depending on the species.
Fun Fact: One gram of positions toxin from the golden dart frog skin can kill around 100,000 people!
Frogs mainly jump when escaping various predators; and also when they are themselves in the predatory mode, hunting different insects.
The South African sharp-nosed frog is the most athletic frog species, and it can jump about 44 times its own body length.
Scientific Name: Cercopoidea
Jump Length: 2.3 ft. (70 cm)
Froghopper is a small hopping bug, able to jump many times their body length. Which is why they got such a name – Froghoppers.
When feeding, this tiny bug jumps from plant to plant, and it can hop more than 100 times its own length.
Fun Fact: Froghopper hind legs generate g-force of 400 gravities, 80 times more than gravity g-force generated during rocket launching!
Froghoppers feed by sucking liquid juices from plants, which generally have low nutrition value, but still enough for their survival. Birds, frogs, and spiders are the top three froghopper predators.
Scientific Name: Oryctolagus cuniculus
Jump Length: 15 ft. (4.5 m)
Rabbits are small hare relatives, and besides their similar appearance, they also share jumping abilities. These fluffy creatures stand out both in the horizontal and vertical jump, as well as in fast running.
Rabbits evolved into super agile animals to escape many predators in the wild. Wild rabbits can run as fast as 45 m/ph (72 km/h).
Fun Fact: When a rabbit is happy, it will perform a happy leap, known as binky leap!
There are 50 different rabbit species, and all of these small mammals are herbivores. Different kinds of plants, such as roots, buds, seeds, fruits, and tree bark, are commonly consumed.
Rabbit ears are not only for great hearing, but they also help with body temperature regulation.
Scientific Name: Dipodidae
Jump Length: 9.8 ft. (3 m)
Jerboas are tiny hopping rodents who tend to live in the hot deserts of Asia and Africa. Characterized by long tails, and hind limbs, and tiny forelimbs, jerboas are very agile creatures.
Jerboas often use zig-zag jumping to escape their enemies. They can also run quite fast, about 15 mp/h (24 km/h). The Jerboa’s main predators are foxes, owls, snakes, wild cats, among many others.
Fun Fact: Jerboas use vibration through the dust to communicate with each other!
Most jerboa species eat plant material food, while few species additionally feed on insects and beetles.
13. Hopping Mice
Scientific Name: Zapodinae
Jump Length: 13 ft. (4 m)
Hopping mice are rodent animals native to Australia, and they are recognized by their super-long tails, and as their name indicates – great developed legs.
Hopping mouse can walk on all four legs, but when in danger, it will bounce in short hops or leap as far as 13 feet (4 m) when in big trouble.
Besides being agile jumpers, these mice are also excellent climbers and swimmers.
Fun Fact: Jumping Mice can stay underwater for 1 minute!
These tiny rodents are rarely seen in the wild due to their nocturnal lifestyle. Just like their rodent cousin kangaroo rats, jumping mice can survive without water.
The main predators that jumping mice face are owls, hawks, foxes, weasels.
Scientific Name: Macropodidae
Jump Length: 9.8 ft. (3 m)
People tend to mislabel wallabies with kangaroos due to their similar appearance. These are two animals, even though they are closely related.
And as you thought, they are great jumpers, just like their cousins. Their hind legs are powerful, and they are used as a main way of locomotion. Apart from hopping, they use their strong legs to kick different predators.
Not only wallabies can jump far and high, but they can also reach speeds of 30 mp/h (48 km/h).
Fun Fact: Wallaby babies are also known as joeys!
Wallabies are crepuscular animals, meaning they are most active around dusk and dawn. These jumping creatures are herbivores and they eat a variety of plants.
In the wild, wallabies have to worry about several predators. Some of them include foxes, feral cats, and wild dogs.
As we had the chance to see, not all animals that hop have the same purpose. Some animals hop to escape the danger of another animal. Others may be the ones that hop to catch their prey. While for other jumping and hopping is the main way of locomotion.
Life in the wild never ceases to amaze us. Different animals had to adopt new habits and behaviors to fight for survival. Hopping is one of them, and we wouldn’t be surprised if some non hopping animal adds this way of moving as an additional ability.