ZoCo Curiosity: how high can an alligator jump?

Crikey, Mate!


Updated Nov. 30th, 2022

We’ve got an answer! One of the longer curiosities we’ve had here at ZoCo is, truthfully, a bit odd. I honestly have no idea where it came from but we’ve been curious: how high can an alligator jump?


And we finally have an answer from a reliable source:

photo of an email

No crocodilians can actually jump straight up unless they are in the water and using tail to propel themselves. 


Interesting. So, they can lunge (up to ~1/2 their body length), but that doesn’t meet the curiosities requirements. I guess we can put this one to rest. The correct answer is they can’t.


I’m still skeptical…


Original post

In case you didn’t know, National Steve Irwin Day goes down every year on November 15th. In honor of Mr. Irwin, we wanted to share one of our longest and most debated curiosities: how high can an alligator (or crocodile, I suppose) jump?


We reached out to the experts to get answers.

We went straight to the Irwins.


And a biology professor who specializes in alligator and crocodile research.


What did the experts say?


Well, nothing (yet). They do have more important things to do than entertain our quirky curiosity. BUT, we’re not giving up!


For now, we’re turning to you for help. We’re currently in our generative phase of research and need your help. We’re curious what others think (we’re sure you’ve thought long and hard about this).


Before you cast your vote, there are some things to keep in mind:

  1. We’re talking about their vertical leap on land. This does not include their ability to jump vertically out of water, or a running, forward leap. From a stationary position, how high can they jump?
  2. It can be an Alligator or Crocodile. Did you know there are 23 different crocodilian species? Any of ’em work for this discussion. We’re not picky.
  3. Any age, any size. Again, we’re not picky. Research does show that the youngsters are more likely to breach vertically than their older, larger counterparts.


What do you think?


Stay Curious.


Eric Trimble