Jumping can be dangerous if you don’t have the right equipment and training, but there are some animals in the world that can jump higher than any human has ever done. These top 10 jumping animals in the world have this ability to do so, and it comes from several different factors. Some of these animals use their hind legs to jump far, while others use their tail or front legs to give them that extra boost into the air. Here are the top 10 jumping animals in the world, ranked according to their ability to jump high above others of their species and ours alike.
Kangaroos can leap more than ten feet at a time. Imagine what it could do to help you reach a high shelf! Just be careful if you try to keep one as a pet, though—they have been known to jump out of second-story windows when startled.
With legs that can extend two to three times their body length, springhares can jump 6 feet straight up and a whopping 8 feet forward. Just try not to think about why a hare might need such power. (It’s a rabbit without ears.)
Goats (Capra hircus) have hooves that are very similar to human hands, with toes and a thumb. And just like us, they use these parts to climb trees. The African Pygmy variety of goat, native to Africa, has been nicknamed scout because of its tendency to search out food on its own and report back to other members of its herd.
Despite their adorable appearance, koalas are excellent jumpers. They’re known to leap up to 7 m (23 ft) across chasms when moving from tree to tree. And they can reach up to 6 m (20 ft) high when standing on a branch! Because they depend on leaves that grow higher in trees, these fluffy marsupials have learned how to avoid predators by reaching branches out of their way.
The common gray squirrel can jump more than 20 times its own height. That’s about three feet and six inches. (Watch out for rodents at your next picnic!)
With just a little practice, you can actually become a better swimmer. Now who says sloths aren’t athletic? One of their main uses for swimming is to find food in rivers and lakes, which are full of fish! The sloth is one of several species that have adapted to spend most of their time in trees rather than on land. Sloths spend approximately 90% of their time in trees.
While it’s true that all animals can jump, it’s not really possible to categorize which one jumps higher than another. But when you look at antelopes, you can easily see why they have such a reputation for jumping higher than other species of animal. While some are able to get their entire bodies in mid-air while they jump, others can clear a distance of 20 feet while still on solid ground. The record holder is a Saiga Antelope that jumped up and over 7 feet.
8. Kangaroo Rat
The Kangaroo Rat’s ability to jump is proportionate to its size; it can jump up to eight feet in a single bound. Even more impressively, it also has three-toed feet that can grip and hold—the better to jump with, my dear.
9. Mouse Lemur
The Mouse Lemur is a small primate found in Madagascar. While they aren’t known to be great jumpers, they have one key advantage: their big toes help them grip branches more easily and make more powerful jumps.
10. Prairie Dog
Prairie dogs are native to North America and can be found in grasslands throughout the United States, Canada, and Mexico. Prairie dogs spend most of their lives on or near their burrows, which they use as shelter from extreme temperatures and predators. They live in colonies, with each colony containing 15-20 prairie dogs. Prairie dogs are very social animals who also like to keep an eye out for one another and protect one another from predators.