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Animal Athletes Challenge 2 | Long Jump

Greatest Human Achievement

The world record of 8.95 metres for the long jump for males was set by Mike Powell from the USA in 1991 (4.8 times body length). The world record of 7.52 metres for females was set by Galina Chistyakova from the former Soviet Union in 1988 (4.4 times body length).

Animal Competitor 1: Striped Rocket Frog

Amazing ability

The Striped Rocket Frog is the Australian record holder for the longest froggy jump. Although it is small (4.5mm long), it can cover 2.17 metres in one jump (over 55 times its body length).

  

Built for jumping

  • Long, powerful slender legs
  • Huge thigh muscle (makes up more than one third of body mass)
  • Large feet
  • Streamlined body
  • Upright launch posture
  • Racing stripes (Only joking - It does have these but they don’t help it jump!)

Where do they live?

Striped Rocket Frogs live in open forests, woodland and grassland across far northern Australia and down the east coast of Australia as far south as Gosford, NSW. 

Animal Competitor 2: Eastern Grey Kangaroo

Amazing ability

The Eastern Grey Kangaroo can cover 9 metres in one jump (7 times their body length).

 
 
 
 
 
 

Built for jumping

  • Big thigh muscles
  • Very long, thick and stretchy tendons in hind legs act as springs
  • Long shin and feet muscles
  • Very long feet for good leverage
  • Long, thick, muscular tail for balance

Where do they live?

Eastern Grey Kangaroos live in open forests and woodland in eastern Australia.

At Home Challenge

You will need:

What to do:

For your jump

  • Find a place where you have enough room to jump.
  • Have bare feet or put on shoes that don’t slip.
  • Mark your starting spot.
  • Put both your feet behind the mark.
  • Bend your knees and take a big jump, landing on two feet.
  • Mark your landing spot and measure the distance from the start.
  • Do this two more times.
  • Record your best jump on your sporting profile.
  • Record your best jump on your Challenge Sheet

For your frog's jump

  • Practice jumping your frog.
  • Line up your frog at a starting point.
  • Jump your frog three times.
  • Measure the furthest distance your frog jumped.
  • Record your frog's best jump on your Challenge Sheet

What’s happening when your origami frog jumps?

The folds in the frog’s ‘legs’ act like a spring which can store potential energy. Pushing down on the folds transfers kinetic energy from your finger into potential energy. When you release your finger the potential energy in the folds changes into kinetic energy and the frog jumps.

To make this activity into a scientific experiment you need to identify a variable:

For your jump

  • Try swinging your arms.
  • Try running up and jumping from one foot (like long jump competitions).

For your frog’s jump

  • Add some weight to its nose (with blue tack or paper clip).
  • Make your frog using paper of different thickness.

Video your results, post them online and tag #museumoftropicalqld #qldmuseum

Image credits: Queensland Museum, John Torcasio / Unsplash