It’s a leap day! Frog hoppers accelerate at equivalent to more than 500g to beat nature’s high jump record

Cercopis_vulnerata

Although the flea is well-known for being the greatest animal high-jumper, researchers have demonstrated that the frog hopper could steal the crown for  insect acrobatics. Compared to the previous title-holders, frog hoppers take off almost five times faster, exerting a force equivalent to over 400 times their own body-weight where the flea produces around 135 times their own, despite the mass of the frog hopper being 27 times greater than that of the flea. Ultimately, the flea reaches a higher relative height at more than 200 body lengths to the frog hopper’s 115, but the forces generated are truly astonishing. The frog hopper devotes an enormous 11% of its total body mass to the musculature of the hind legs, which are locked into position until these muscles have built up enough energy to spring them free, generating very rapid acceleration in a way similar to fleas.

Read more about this research here.

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