A bite-size answer to the question, can elephants jump?
Although there are some who will argue to the contrary (e.g. what about circus elephants jumping down from platforms, what if all four legs are off the ground at the same time during a sprint, etc, etc) - and even some eye witness statements (‘Elephant Bill’ for example recounting in his book how a female elephant jumped over a ditch shortly before the impact made her lame) - it is pretty much universally accepted that elephants cannot jump.
Despite a lack of really rigorous scientific research on the subject, elephants can’t jump because, well simply put, they are just too heavy. Indeed, the African male elephant can weigh up to seven tonnes (though most probably average nearer five) and is the heaviest land creature on our planet.
Whilst on the subject of elephants, it is perhaps worth mentioning that – like all other mammals – elephants only have two knees and not four as is commonly believed. The knees are in the hind (back) legs, whilst the joints in the front ones operate on similar lines to our own elbows.
So there we go – a bite-size answer to the question: can elephants jump?
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The author originally published this article here: http://scienceray.com/biology/can-elephants-jump/
Thanks for reading. And thank you to my son for asking me this question!
Sources: New Scientist, How It Works magazine