Faster, higher, stronger
Lancashire Life|August 2020
Faster, higher, stronger
This month, the world’s greatest athletes should have gathered in Tokyo but without that spectacle to enjoy, The Lancashire Wildlife Trust’s Alan Wright looks at some of nature’s superstars
Alan Wright

Almost every week this summer I have been treated to a day where I meet up with a roe deer buck as I wander around the meadows close to my Lancashire home.

I often wondered how these slender, beautiful beasts managed to get into fenced-off fields, where they are safe from nosy humans and dogs. The buck was standing on a path watching us approach, then it almost nonchalantly leapt a four-foot fence and wandered into the field – from a standing start!

In actual fact, roe deer are generally able to walk up to a six-foot fence and clear it, in single bound. The whitetail deer of North America can jump up to 15 feet, according to reports.

Insects are the real super jumpers, of course, with grasshoppers around the country leaping huge distances to stop us trampling on them in the undergrowth.

And the reigning champion is the flea. A flea can jump more than 150 times its height, along a distance of more than 200 times its body length. For a human, that would mean a 400-meter long jump and a 250m high jump – the equivalent of leaping a 70-storey skyscraper.

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August 2020