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Which is the only mammal that cannot jump?

Discover which is the only mammal that cannot jump.

Hippopotami are mammals that cannot jump. [©Shutterstock, 2010]
©Shutterstock, 2010
Hippopotami are mammals that cannot jump.

The oft-repeated claim that elephants are the only mammals that cannot jump is not true. Hippopotami, another pachyderm, also cannot jump.

In fact, there is some debate over whether the "elephants can't jump" claim has much validity. Most elephant experts have long believed that, due to an elephant's excessive weight, a knee structure that's not conducive to leaping, and its tendency to keep one foot on the ground at all times, elephants can't jump.

But according to some elephant trainers, elephants actually can jump. Indeed, there have been multiple reports of young elephants jumping in the wild. But most experts agree that mature elephants, even if they technically have the ability to jump, simply don't bother -- which means that it would be more accurate to claim that elephants "don't jump" rather than "can't jump."

Because elephants are somewhat clumsy, they rarely do anything quickly. Elephant specialists have also long believed that elephants can't technically run. But recent research indicates that elephants do, in fact, exhibit the compressive, bouncing traits of a runner, which has led pachyderm specialists to reconsider their position, and perhaps leave the door open for a reevaluation of elephants' jumping potential.

However, there has been no substantive evidence as of yet indicating that elephants are able to fly.

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