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Can Crocodiles Jump?



Crocodiles can jump.

Crocodiles belong to the subfamily crocodylinae and have been on earth since the appearance of vertebrae reptiles for over 200 million years. They are one of the oldest species extent and have changed very little in morphology and habits. They range from the tropics in Asia and Africa, to Australia and the Americas, found in wetlands, lakes, rivers and in salt and brackish waters. As far as locomotion, some species of crocodiles like the New Guinea, dwarf and Cuban varieties can gallop up to 11 mph. They can also belly slide at this speed by thrashing their tail and descending down a bank. One of the most often asked questions is if crocodiles can jump? The answer might surprise you.


Crocodiles have naturally streamlined bodies that are long and torpedo-shaped for propelling them through the water at high speeds. They have webbed feet which they tuck to the sides when moving through the water. Their belly and side tissue is very slick and smooth to keep down on friction, while their top skin is armored with scales, making it resistant against attacks from other predators but allows it to absorb heat to maintain body temperature. Crocodile tails move from side to side, acting as a flexible paddle to thrust them forward through the water. The legs are short, able to waddle at belly height or extend up to lift the body off the surface. Their smell, eyesight, touch and hearing senses are all very acute, making them the perfect ambush predator.

Land Jumping

Crocodiles have been observed jumping on land, although rarely. The only testaments to this feat have reported that they can jump about five feet from a standing position, and this is more of an offensive lunge toward a prey target. While galloping, a crocodile can bound a short distance, usually no more than their body length, but they have to be moving at great speed to do so. Crocodiles can lay in wait at the shoreline, partially submerged and then seemingly leap out of the water to catch prey, but this movement is primarily provided by the power in the tail. So, the answer is yes, they can leap across the ground in limited fashion.

Water Jumping

One of the most spectacular feats witnessed of crocodiles is their ability to leap completely out of the water to snag an overhead prey item. Since they are ravenous feeders, they will propel themselves up and out of the water to catch a baited item at lofty heights. They have even been known to leap for low-flying waterfowl, hawks and eagles. Some of them have been seen leaping at overhanging branches for small mammals. This type of behavior originates from their juvenile period when very young crocodiles leap out of the water to capture insects on the fly. Their depth perceptions is excellent, allowing them to judge distances and size of prey. Crocodiles use their powerful tails to make explosive water leaps, flailing it from side to side in snake-like fashion. The streamlined profile of their bodies makes it easy for them to breach the water’s surface much like a rocket bursting through the air.


The Telegraph
Crocodiles Jump out of the Water for Food;

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