JUMPING or leaping can be defined as a form of locomotion or movement in which a body propels itself through the air along a ballistic trajectory. From humans eyes it may look unusual but to insects, avian, reptiles and mammals of Serengeti, Mikumi and other national parks and game reserves it is just a common practice.
In the Savannah with a body weight of 3.5 kilograms, hare are capable to leap up to 2.1 meters from one point to another. At the same time, different people from different places with different knowledge have been making questions and answers about Cheetahs which are the master of speed.
These raise a lot of confusion because with the level of development and innovation, yet there is no single natural or mechanically created body which has been able to outrun these cats when it comes to speed on the land at a short distance.
At the same time, if a hare comes under predator’s threat they embark on a quick leaping movement which involves not less than 42 jumps and enable them to cover 90 meters with a top speed of 35 km per hour.
This enable these small mammals to escape most of the attacks launched by big cats such as leopard and lions but smart predators such as a serval cat have special body built for jumping.
When you see a predator killing a hare, wildebeest or zebra you must know that before that, the killer has done a lot of works for that precious meal.
Depending on your opinion this can be seen as a simple action but a lot of arguments and suggestions have been made about the cheetah which is able to achieve a top speed of 120 an hour after 3 seconds when chasing a fast running gazelle in national park such as Serengeti, Tarangire in the northern circuit and Ruaha in the Southern circuit.
Scientists say the Cheetah is able to achieve the fastest speed on the land due to its long flexible spine which allows it to bend and maneuver easy and quickly whenever it’s on a chase for a prey.
The elasticity of the spine which is built by strong versatile muscles to allow the cat to make a full stretch act while bending the whole body like bow and open it for a very wide stride measuring up to 7 meters, in fact it works like a spring as it bring the hind legs forward to place them between the front legs then push them backward again for a very fast bust forward.
With a body weighing between 3.5 and 19 kilograms, Serval cat have strong legs which are equipped with flexible muscles capable of jumping into the air up to 3.5 to catch a fast flying bird.
Scientists say the maximum possible horizontal travel distance of a body occurs at a launch angle of 45 degrees, but any launch angle between 35 and 55 degrees will result in ninety percent of the maximum possible distance.
Through the above mentioned factors, jumping differentiate itself from running, galloping, and other gaits where the entire body temporarily airborne in a long duration and land in a distant location.
In the savannah Serval cat are not big cats but they are considered as super predators because they have strong legs which enable them to leap forward up 4.5 meters to capture a fast moving hare.
These are almost stealth attacks because of the nature of a leap which is performed swiftly from one position where the cat is standing. It may appear to some of us that these sporadic actions by rabbit, hare, serval cat and cheetah are normal and simple so it’s possible to do the same.
The cheetah put up these wide steps after every 2 second that why after 3 second you found out that it has already achieved a top speed of between 75 to 110 km per hour faster than any car on any road in Africa, Asia or even in America where they said people have cars which run very fast after they gulp down the third gear.
The spine of the cheetah works very well in conjunction with all legs which in two times they don’t touch the ground when they are contracted backward or fully extended forward with a wide gape under a fully functioning body.
The legs of a cheetah are long, slim but strong while their feet are narrow feet and equipped with blunt non retractable claws fixed firmly into paws which undersides have grooved sponge like carpets specially made pads for a powerful grip and traction of the fastest animal in the Savannah.
Unlike animals in the wild who are capable to jump from one position, in a special peach athletes are forced to make a short run to gain special momentum for a bigger leap. Scientists say when a body jump it use energy which push it forward against natural forces such while passing through a special line which is called Ballistic trajectory.
Weighing between 120 to 260 kilograms, lions are force to make a long forward leap covering 10 meters to capture a prey such as a wildebeest. Scientists say before the initial action a lion may be chasing its prey at a top speed of 56 kilometers per hour which also enable the cat’s body to propel into air for 5.5 meters from the ground.
With the fastest speed on land, cheetahs chase their prey until they are 30 meter away where they finally jump up to 10 meters to capture a prey and unleash a deadly bit.
In the savannah predators jump into air and leap forward to capture different animals for a meal but on their side to avoid death from claws and jaws of cats, antelope must make a quick jump before running for their lives. Jumping for life in the Savannah is not for big mammals only, it’s an essential action to everyone including birds and insect such as grasshoppers.
These are ground dwelling insects with powerful hind legs which enable them to escape from threats by leaping vigorously. Scientists say grasshoppers are capable to escape death by running away from an attack from a predator in a top speed of 3.9 meters per seconds as they jump more than 400 times.
These insects are able to make this impressive speedbecause of their large and powerful hind legs with strong muscles which push the body forward quickly when they want to do so.
Scientific research in some species of grasshopper indicate that hind legs of these insects are equipped with flexible muscles which operate like gear box of a motorbike or car.
In this research it was revealed that internally according needs and environment, different kind of muscles of the hind legs are used to push the insect’s body forward.
In the savannah when things get tough and a small hare is surrounded by a group of hungry lions its brain works very fast to stimulate energy hormones.
These enable muscle to act very fast and the small mammal erratically makes long 9 jumps from one position to another covering 20 meters at a top speed of 75 kilometers per hour which leave the mouth of lions empty.
Scientists say hare are able to jump very quickly because morphologically their hind legs are long and powerful while their forelegs are de signed for a smooth landing in a dry terrain.
With a body weighing not more than 25 kilograms, caracals are only cat in the wild which a very successful in hunting rabbit and hare.
Scientists say morphologically most animals in the savannah are created for speed and jumping, for example cheetah’s hind legs are long with pivotal hips made up of strong muscles while the front legs are shorter and connected into shoulders which are not direct attached to the spine for a greater to flexibility and easier maneuvering.
The spine and legs work smoothly with the huge lungs in conjunction with a small but efficient heart which is able to double the breath rate from 60 to 150 per minute to increase oxygen supply to the all parts of the body, this capacity surpass the rate of human lungs because the cat has enlarged nostrils and sinuses which in total the respiratory system of the cheetah is about 135 centimeters long and capable of inhaling large amount of air.