Is There a Mammal That Cannot Jump?

The elephant is the only mammal that cannot jump. It is one of the largest land mammals, and its feet are not equipped to elevate off the ground or absorb the impact of landing. The fronts of an elephant’s feet are the only part that contain bones, while the back of its feet are made completely of fat. Other large mammals, such as the hippopotamus and the rhinoceros, are often considered unable to jump, but these mammals can reach a state in which all four feet are off the ground when they run. Elephants, however, are never able to be completely airborne while running.

More about animals jumping:

  • The Southern cricket frog is able to propel itself to 60 times its own body height, or the equivalent of the average human jumping 38 stories into the air.
  • About 13% of all spider species — about 5,000 of them — have the ability to jump in order to attack their prey.
  • The puma can jump higher than any other mammal, reaching heights of about 20 feet (6.1 m) without a running start.
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Discussion Comments


Off the top of my head, echidnas can't jump. Neither can the platypus. Both of these monotreme mammals are adapted for their lifestyle - the echidna burrows into the ground when in danger rather than attempt to flee, it's spikes protect it. And the platypus is adapted to an aquatic lifestyle and has flipper-like feet on short legs which prevent it from jumping.

Other mammals that can't jump are hippos and rhinoceros. And while giraffes can manage a sort of loping run, it cannot be considered true jumping.


Many animals, including the elephant, opossum, hippopotamus and numerous others, can't jump. It is a myth that only one species in the entire animal kingdom is incapable of jumping. Other land animals that can't jump include sloths, rhinoceroses and ticks. There are a variety of sea creatures as well.


Elephants cannot run. They can only walk very fast, and that looks like running.

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