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Thursday, July 18, 2024
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Wow Fact: Elephants can’t jump

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Despite what you may have seen in your Saturday morning cartoons, elephants can’t jump, according to a video by Smithsonian.

Elephant Jumping Rope min
credit: johnlund.com

And there’s one simple reason: They don’t have to. Most jumpy animals—your kangaroos, monkeys, and frogs—do it primarily to get away from predators.

Elephants keep themselves safe in other ways, relying on their huge size and protective social groups. And, as it turns out, it’s hard to get 4 tons of mammals off the ground all at once.

In the case of the elephant, in fact, it’s impossible. Unlike most mammals, the bones in elephant legs are all pointed downwards, which means they don’t have the “spring” required to push off the ground.  

inputs: sciencemag.org

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