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How High Can Frogs Jump? Science-Based Facts & FAQ

Nicole Cosgrove Profile Picture

By Nicole Cosgrove

platinum white zaire dwarf clawed frog or african dwarf frog (hymenochirus boettgeri)

In the animal kingdom, there are creatures of all kinds that can do amazing things. Bats hunt food using echolocation, eagles can spot prey from hundreds of yards away, and cheetahs can sprint upwards of 68 mph!

Frogs are also unique because they can jump incredible heights. How high can frogs jump? That depends on the species of frog as well as its size and several other factors. However, most frogs can jump 10 to 20 times their body length, with some tree frogs possessing the ability to jump up to 50 times their body length!! To find out more, and see how frogs compare to humans and other animals in jumping, read on!

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How High Can the Average Frog Jump?

There are over 6,000 species of frogs in the world of varying sizes, shapes, and abilities. Some frogs are relatively small, like the Cuban tree frog, which is only 2 to 5 inches long. On the other end of the spectrum is the Goliath frog, found in West Africa. They can be as large as 12 inches and grow to a size of more than 7 pounds!

Despite the difference in size, the Cuban tree frog can manage an impressive jump of over 1.4 meters (144 cm, or almost 57 inches, or around 4.7 feet). These have been measured in experiments done on the species. The Goliath frog has been recorded jumping up to 3 meters (close to 10 feet). Several factors influence how far or high a frog can jump.

Can All Frogs Jump Very High?

african dwarf frog (hymenochirus boettgeri) swimming underwater
Image Credit: Charlie Tyack, Shutterstock

Not all frogs can jump incredibly high. The one factor that makes the most significant difference in how high a frog can jump is their legs. The bigger and stronger the legs, the longer and higher a frog can jump. This ability has developed over centuries and is an excellent defense mechanism for frogs, who can jump far away from danger in an instant.

Some frog species, however, have short legs that are better for walking, crawling, and short hops. For example, most toads (which, by the way, are all frogs) walk and hop rather than jump. It depends on the species and their adaptations to survive in their respective habitats.

Being cold-blooded, another factor that influences the jumping ability of frogs is the temperature. The warmer the temperature, the higher their metabolic rate, which means the farther they can jump. Conversely, they jump shorter distances in colder temperatures.

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Which Species Jumps Higher, Frogs or Toads?

It’s important to note that all toads are frogs, but not all frogs are toads. The biggest difference between the two includes the fact that frogs have longer, larger legs while those of the toad are shorter. Also, toads have thicker, drier skin and can live further away from water than frogs can.

With shorter legs, it’s no surprise that a toad can’t jump as high as a frog. While frogs jump, toads hop. That’s a fundamental difference that gives frogs a clear advantage regarding how high both can jump.

Can Frogs Jump Vertically?

african dwarf frog (hymenochirus boettgeri)
Image Credit: Guillermo Guerao Serra, Shutterstock

Frogs can jump vertically, and the vertical jumping ability of some species is breathtaking. Some frogs can jump from a sitting position several feet almost 100% straight up.

The frog’s skeleton, specifically its hind legs and feet, is responsible for this amphibian’s amazing ability to jump high. Their jumping ability is mostly attributed to their sartorius muscle.

Which Jumps Higher, a Male or Female Frog?

Males tend to jump farther than equivalent-sized females, although the opposite or neutral situation occurs in a couple species.

Which Jumps Farther, a Large or Small Frog?

Both inter- and intraspecifically, large frogs jump farther than small ones; however, a comparison of relative ability shows small frogs to be the strongest jumpers.

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Final Thoughts

Thanks to their immensely strong back legs and skeletons built for efficiency and power, frogs are some of the highest-jumping animals on the planet. The American Bullfrog is one of the best jumpers and can reach heights of 6 feet. That’s quite a jump for a creature that’s a fraction of a man’s size.

Frogs jump so well as an escape mechanism in times of danger and for several other reasons. While some species jump higher than others, the average frog can jump 10 to 20 times their length, which is truly astounding. We could easily jump over a 10-story building if humans had comparative jumping abilities!


Featured Image Credit: Dan Olsen, Shutterstock

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