Have you ever wondered about the highest jumping animals?
It’s surprising just which animals jump the highest. This is because jumping ability isn’t always measured in meters, but rather in height in comparison to one’s body size.
Keep reading to meet a selection of 10 of the highest jumping animals in the world.
This list starts out with one of the most iconic jumping animals: the hare. A different species than rabbits, hares are animals in the genus Lepus. This also includes jackrabbits.
They are medium-sized mammals that live either alone or in pairs. You can tell the difference between hares and rabbits by their size, coloration, bones, and larger ears.
Since there are many different species of hares, they are able to jump different heights. On average, however, these high-jumping animals are able to reach heights of 1.5 meters.
However, this is only an average look. Some species of hares can jump even higher, reaching heights of 3 meters (10 ft) in a single hop!
Impalas are common jumpers. Whether to escape from predators, to survive on the terrain where they live, or even just for fun, impalas will jump often, and high.
Because they can reach such high speeds, impalas will often prefer to jump over whatever is in their path rather than to stop or go around it.
Impalas are able to jump as high as 3 meters (10 ft), just be careful if you’re driving past! 1
8. Red Kangaroo
Other than rabbits, another animal that comes to mind when thinking about the highest jumping animals is the kangaroo! Kangaroos are known for their amazing jumping abilities.
However, out of all the species of kangaroo, the red kangaroo is known to jump the highest.
The red kangaroo is the largest species of kangaroo. They can grow to be around 1.4 meters long, with a tail that’s around 1 meter long.
This large size, paired with their muscle mass, allows for them to reach amazing heights with each and every jump. On average they can jump 25-30 ft in a single bound.
But just how high can the red kangaroo jump? While often they are not witnessed jumping higher than 1.5 m (5 ft), there is a credible record of a red kangaroo jumping over a stacked pile of wood at a height of 3.1 meters (10 ft).
The cougar is known for many things, one of those being the animal with the most common name. However, they’re also one of the highest jumping animals!
Also known as the mountain lion, puma, and several other names, the cougar is a common cat in North America and South America.
When they’re sitting on the ground, they can jump as high as 5.5 meters. That’s enough to help them jump into trees and survive in the mountainous terrain where they can be found.
If you’re to consider leaping, which is moving horizontally instead of vertically, cougars can travel a distance of 12 meters (39 ft).
The cougar currently holds the highest jump on record for any mammal according to the Guiness Book of Records, when a cougar jumped 7 m (23 ft) straight up from a standstill. 2
The bharal is also known as the blue sheep. It’s a type of caprine, which includes animals that are medium-sized bovids. Caprines are also known as goat-antelope, although they’re not a species of antelope. Both males and females have horns.
Because they live in a mountainous terrain with steep cliffs, they’re no stranger to going airborne. In fact, the bharal can reach amazing heights jumping over 2 m (6.5 ft) in height.
The klipspringer is another mountain mammal that’s built to climb and jump from cliffs and rocks.
However, they’re much smaller than the bharal, reaching a size of around 60 cms (24 inches) tall. Their small size, however, allows for great things.
While it’s often repeated across the internet that they can jump at high as 7 m (23 ft), this is an exaggeration. In fact, they can jump up to 5 times their own body height – around 3 m (10 ft).
That’s the highest of any mammal, as long as you’re looking at height in relation to body size!
It’s not a list of hopping animals without the grasshopper. Throughout history, humans have been fascinated with the grasshopper and its jumping abilities.
However, just how high can a grasshopper jump? There are many different species of grasshoppers. This plays a large role in just how high they can jump.
However, they can reach a jumping height of around 25 centimeters. While this may not seem impressive when you consider that some of the animals on this list can jump up to reach a peak of several meters, you have to take into account the grasshopper’s size.
Imagine if they were the size of a human with that jumping ability!
3. Tree Frog
The tree frog is another animal in which its important to consider their size when looking at what is the highest jumping animal.
In fact, even without considering their size, with a peak of 1.5 m (5 ft), tree frogs outmatch many of the large mammals on this list!
Tree frogs have the remarkable ability to be able to stick to almost any surface, using their versatile toe pads. While some species can reach up to 10 cm (4 inches), they are typically half this size.
That means their hops are around 30 times their own body length!
When it comes to thinking about the highest jumping animals, you may not consider animals that live in the water. However, many species, like dolphins, are able to jump out of the water to reach incredible heights.
Dolphins are able to launch themselves out of the water and jump up as much as over 7 m (23 ft).
This, paired with their incredible intelligence, allows them to perform tricks such as flips and jumping through hoops.
The highest jumping animal in the world may just surprise you! This is because this animal is little known insect, but is able to jump an incredible 140 times their own body length.
That’s right: the highest jumping animal in the world is an insect known as the froghopper. They use their remarkable leaps to avoid predators and search for food.
At a glance, the froghoppers ability to jump 70 centimeters (28 inches) in height may not seem impressive. However, looking at their body to jump ratio, imagine a human. That would be the same as us jumping over a skyscraper!
The secret of this insects jumping ability is in their hind legs, which have large muscles that can catapult it around. When the insect contracts its muscles to jump, these structures flex like an archery bow. When the “bow” recoils, it propels the insect forward with a force that can exceed 400 times greater than gravity.
Humans can jump with a force between 2-3 times that of gravity, and often pass out at around 5 g. Astronaughts are subjected to launch and re-entry forces of around 6 g in comparison. 3 4
A special mention also goes to the humble flea which is often proclaimed as the highest jumper. This is because it’s capable of jumping 18 cm (7 inches) vertically. This is an impressive 100 times their own body length, and second only to the incredible froghopper.
So, these are a selection of the highest jumping animals from across the animal planet.
It’s fun to put animal jumping into perspective and compare them against humans.
The highest verified standing jump is 1.7m (5ft 7 in) was achieved by Christopher Spell (USA) in Shrub Oak, New York, USA, on 7 February 2021. 5
This is an incredible height and achievement for humans. Christopher Spell however, is 5ft 9 in tall – so this is less than his own height. A flea can jump 100 times it’s own height in comparison!
This makes some of the jumps achieved by the animals listed above even more remarkable.
Fact Sources & References
- Mramba RP (2022), “Grouping behaviour and activity patterns of impala (Aepyceros melampus) in a nutrient -rich and a nutrient-poor savanna in Tanzania“, Heliyon.
- “Highest jump by a mammal“, Guiness Book of Records.
- “Highest jump by an insect“, Guiness Book of Records.
- LiveScience (2008), “Froghopper bug’s incredible leaps explained“, NBC News.
- “Highest standing jump“, Guiness Book of Records.