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This is a question that many people will not have considered, but when it comes to jumping it is natural to assume that they do have some talent at jumping, after all, even children know that the elephant is the only land animal that isn't able to jump! However, their jumping ability can vary quite significantly between the different rat species, and it will tend to be that those rats that have a larger and heavier body will find it more difficult to leap. There are many reasons why rats are actually quite good at jumping overall, and it has several benefits in terms of their hunting and survival abilities.
The Jumping Ability Of Rats
When we look at the most common rat species, even those that do have heavier bodies can still jump quite successfully. Brown rats are largely better at descending and usually prefer to jump downwards rather than upwards, although they still have the strong jumping mechanism that allows them to move quickly. Black rats are another common species, and they tend to be lighter and more agile, and are even better at jumping, being able to use this ability to leap up almost any surface.
How Is This Useful For The Species?
There are a range of reasons why rats have evolved the ability to jump effectively, and one of the main reasons for this is that being agile and able to leap makes them far more effective as predators, able to close the distance on their prey quickly. Many rats also tend to have habitats above ground level, such as the black rat, and being able to jump up tree trunks or walls is useful to help them to get to the safety of their nest. Jumping is also key when it comes to avoiding predators, and when the rats become prey, being able to leap to safety across a large gap can be vital to their survival.
How High And Far Can Rats Jump?
Rats can leap quite a distance, and tests carried out on the brown rat indicates that they can leap up to 77 centimeters, or close to two and a half feet off the ground, and jump over four feet on horizantal or downwards slopes. This is one of the species that is not so good at jumping, and when we consider the black rat, it is said that these talented creatures can actually leap over five feet, with their lighter bodies helping them in this respect.
Go back to the Rat Removal page or read my guide for How to get rid of rats. Learn more about whether rats can climb.