My neighbor who had just returned from Australia was gushing about the exotic creatures she had seen there. One of them was a kangaroo and what attracted her most about this creature was how it moved.
A kangaroo moves by hopping, and this ability sets it apart from many other creatures of the animal kingdom.
When I started talking about this to my nephews, they became even more curious and asked me if the kangaroo was the only creature that could hop.
I was taken aback because none came to my mind immediately! So we decided to go through our books on animals and find out more about animals that hop, and we came across the following:
Animals that hop:
- Kangaroo rat
List of animals that hop:
Undoubtedly kangaroos are the creatures that make it to the top of the list when it comes to animals that hop.
Kangaroos have long powerful tails and hind limbs that help them jump high. The red kangaroo is the fastest jumper, and they are known to jump even when at a speed of fifty-six kilometers per hour.
When they jump, a kangaroo can reach a height of six feet, and they are known to cover a distance of thirty feet with a single hop.
This is because kangaroos are the only mammal that uses hopping as the only form of locomotion.
As these creatures evolved, their hind limbs became more robust, and their tails started giving them the support necessary to hop.
However, this mode of locomotion means the creature cannot move backward. Hence, you will always find that kangaroos hop forward.
Frogs are also known to hop relatively high, primarily when they sense the presence of a predator.
If you see a long-legged frog and observe it jump, the creature builds the momentum in its hind limb and then leaps forward.
The long-legged frogs are known to jump eight times their body length. Usually, frogs make this jump to get to the nearest water body to run away from danger.
The short-legged frogs can also hop, but their ability to cover a distance with a single hop is much less than a long-legged frog.
When a frog hops, you will find that it brings its forelimbs close to its body to make its entire body aerodynamic, helping it cover a long distance with a single hop.
When you think of creatures that hop, you cannot leave rabbits out of the list, rabbits can learn to hop even at the age of ten days, and their entire movement is a combination of hopping and running.
For rabbits hopping is an efficient way of movement, and their entire muscular and skeletal system is designed to aid this movement.
Like kangaroos, rabbits too developed the ability to hop as they evolved over centuries.
As they evolved, the hind limbs of rabbits became muscular enough to support the entire weight of the creature.
When the rabbit wishes to hop, it builds the momentum on its hind legs and moves forward with a kick. You will find that they often hop as fast as they can when they sense danger.
As the name suggests, grasshoppers can hop, given the size of their hind legs. A grasshopper can jump a distance of thirty inches.
Some of the longer grasshoppers are known to cover the length of a football field with a single jump. However, what we sometimes forget is that grasshoppers can fly as well.
These insects have unique hind limbs, and along with that, they have wings as well. Sometimes a grasshopper jumps to launch itself into the air and then uses its wings to fly away.
Grasshoppers mostly hop when they move from one plant to another in search of food. They use their ability to fly mostly to flee predators.
No list is complete without mentioning the brown hare when it comes to one of the fastest moving and hopping animals. This creature is one of the most athletic ones in the animal kingdom.
A brown hare can reach a speed of seventy-two kilometers per hour while hopping and they are close relative to rabbits, but their hind limbs are more potent than theirs.
With the help of these muscular hind limbs, hares can build momentum that helps the creature jump high.
Hares can jump up to fifteen feet, making these creatures easier to escape from predators.
You will also find that hares jump higher and hop faster when they sense danger.
6. Kangaroo rat
The kangaroo rat is a unique rodent found in the North American desert. This creature can be easily identified by its round ears, beady eyes, and tufted tail.
The kangaroo rat gets its name because it resembles the kangaroo’s ability to hop.
Additionally, the kangaroo rat can balance the weight of its entire body on its hind limbs and jump forward.
When the kangaroo rat hops, it can reach up to a height of two meters, which is way more than the size of its body.
An adult kangaroo rat is no more than twenty centimeters in length, but it can hop up to a height more than twice its size.
The creature usually prefers this form of locomotion when it senses danger.
Crickets are like grasshoppers, and they can both hop and fly like grasshoppers.
Your house crickets can grow up to seven to eight inches, and these insects can jump up to three feet.
These insects have a movement that resembles grasshoppers and you will find that crickets often jump to help them gain the momentum necessary to fly.
If you hear crickets chirping in the garden, you can be assured that these are common house cricket or field crickets.
These insects tend to jump towards objects where they hope to find food.
Crickets, too, will fly when they sense danger and hop when searching for food.
The insect’s size and color are the primary distinguishing feature between grasshoppers and crickets.
Crickets are usually darker in color, with dark bands running across their head.