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, so they're too heavy to make the leap. 

Not only do they not jump, elephants never get all four feet off the ground at once - even when 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 (21)
  • daned-lam
    4/19/2016 - 02:30 p.m.

    I never thought about if an elephant could jump because it is a weird question, it makes sense that they cannot though.

  • laurah-lam
    4/19/2016 - 02:31 p.m.

    Elephants never needed to learn how to hop because they don't have a predator that would force them to jump to get away, unlike a bunny, that uses their hop to vanish from the predator's grasp.

  • kirans-lam
    4/19/2016 - 02:31 p.m.

    It's not surprising that elephants can't jump because their weight can be 16,000 or more pounds which would not be easy to jump with.

  • emmac-lam
    4/19/2016 - 02:32 p.m.

    I always kind of knew elephants couldn't jump because when I see video's or pictures of elephants stuck in a hole that would be easy for them to get out of if they jumped, now I have a better understanding of why they cant get out of the holes.

  • ravend-bag
    4/19/2016 - 07:22 p.m.

    They never learned how to hop because they don't need to jump and get something or hop away from predators.

  • lenad-kut
    4/19/2016 - 08:15 p.m.

    I always thought that elephants were able to jump when they got scared, (like when they saw a snake or a dangerous animal on the ground) but I guess considering that they can grow to be up to 16000 lb. then they are technically considered earth bound.

  • TehyaWhite-Ste
    4/20/2016 - 12:40 p.m.

    Elephants don't need to jump because they never needed to escape a predator in that way. They have other skills to protect themselves and jumping just isn't necessary.

  • carlv1-pay
    4/25/2016 - 08:20 a.m.

    I don't think elephants can jump.After reading the article i don't even think they can run.

  • nicholasj-bag
    4/28/2016 - 10:46 p.m.

    Nothing in a elephants environment requires them to hop around.

  • TaylorSeifert-Ste
    7/25/2016 - 11:08 p.m.

    Elephants never learned how to hop because they have no need for it. Jumping, as explained in the article, is an evolutionary trait that animals gain as a way to avoid predators. The weight of an elephant, averaging 16,000 pounds, also keeps it from being able to jump.

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