Is it true that elephants can't jump? African elephant and calf walking, Masai Mara N.R, Kenya. (Anup Shah/Thinkstock)
Is it true that elephants can't jump?
Lexile

You asked us if it's true that elephants can't jump, and yes, it's true. Adult elephants just aren't built to jump because they often weigh 16,000 or more pounds. They're just too heavy to make the leap. 

Not only do they not jump, elephants never get all four feet off the ground at once, and that is even when they are charging at full speed. So, technically, I guess, elephants don't actually run, they power walk.

And why should they jump? The great leapers of the animal kingdom often evolved that skill as a way of avoiding predators, but nothing in an elephant's environment, at least in their recent evolutionary past, required them to hop around.

So, despite what you may have heard, believe me when I say, elephants are earthbound.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
Why did elephants never need to learn how to hop?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (60)
  • andrewa-ver
    4/14/2016 - 10:57 a.m.

    In there environment they don't need to worry about hopping around because there are no predators that they need to hop away from and they weight to much to actually jump.

  • carolinev-2-bar
    4/14/2016 - 11:02 a.m.

    Elephants never needed to learn how to jump because nothing in their environment required them to elvolve that skill. Elephants have an average weight of 16,000 pounds, so it would be very hard for them to jump because even when they are running at full speed they don't get all four of their legs off the floor.So it probably isn't possible for them to jump.In paragraph three the article states," The great leapers of the animal kingdom often evolved that skill as a way of avoiding predators, but nothing in an elephant's environment, at least in their recent evolutionary past, required them to hop around." This proves that elephants haven't had to learn how to jump thanks to the environment that they live in.
    I enjoyed this article because elephants are adorable.

  • kalebs-2-nic
    4/14/2016 - 12:02 p.m.

    Because they don't need to avoid predators. I didn't know they couldn't jump but i kinda maybe thought about it because of their weight one time. I wonder if any other animals cant jump because of their weight like maybe hippos. If elephants cant jump because of their weight then how can they swim if they weigh to much shouldn't they sink.

    • laurenb-lew
      4/20/2016 - 12:04 p.m.

      Surprisingly they cannot swim they only "jump" up out of the water to get a breath, however they can jump out about three feet out of the water.

    • laurenb-lew
      4/20/2016 - 12:07 p.m.

      The only predators they have is the lion. Even the lion has trouble getting this beast on the ground, so i imagine that they will not need the jumping techniek anytime soon.

  • matildav-nic
    4/14/2016 - 12:02 p.m.

    Because adults are 16,000. Even when they charge at something they still cant get all feet off the ground. They are too heavy too.

  • destenyn-nic
    4/14/2016 - 12:51 p.m.

    Because they are to heavy to even get all four feet off the ground yet alone get there 16,000 pound body off the ground. Interesting fact they don't even run the really only speedwalk. Plus nothing in their environment has required them to leap.

  • shaelyng-ver
    4/14/2016 - 12:51 p.m.

    I believed that elephants couldn't jump because they are enormous.

  • jaylynnj-Orv
    4/14/2016 - 03:39 p.m.

    It's kind of obvious that elephants can't jump, especially if you consider their weight.
    Also, what's the point of a huge animal like that jumping around anyways? They wouldn't be able to land on anything without breaking it.

  • audreyv-4-bar
    4/14/2016 - 06:44 p.m.

    Elephants never learned to hop, because their environment does not require them to learn this skill. Hopping by animals is used to hide from your predators, but elephants don't need to face predators with their current way of life. Elephants are also too heavy, weighing 16,000 pounds or more, to have all four of their legs off of the ground at once.

    I found this article very interesting, because I never knew that elephants didn't have the capability of hopping.

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