Wednesday, July 24, 2019

“Were Rishonim wrong when they said elephant can be acquired by getting it to jump on his own. It’s known fact elephants can’t jump so this means the rishon is wrong”

A email I received recently. I answered: .

First look at this:

Elephants can’t jump—and here’s why

Despite what you may have seen in your Saturday morning cartoons, elephants can’t jump, according to a video by Smithsonian. And there’s one simple reason: They don’t have to. Most jumpy animals—your kangaroos, monkeys, and frogs—do it primarily to get away from predators. Elephants keep themselves safe in other ways, relying on their huge size and protective social groups. And, as it turns out, it’s hard to get 4 tons of mammal off the ground all at once. In the case of the elephant, in fact, it’s impossible. Unlike most mammals, the bones in elephant legs are all pointed downwards, which means they don’t have the “spring” required to push off the ground.

By Patrick MonahanJan. 27, 2016 , 3:00 PM

[[Notice that the explanation only applies to adult elephants. Furthermore, no one has tried to induce them to jump. The fact that they have never been seen to jump is explained by the fact they don't need to, as the paragraph points out. And an engineer would say: your explanation of why they cannot jump is only a guess. Without thorough testing you cannot know that they are unable to jump. ]]

Second, in this book it says that Indian elephants can jump

And here is a full discussion of the subject:


All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced without written permission from HarperCollins Publishers, 10 East 53rd Street, New York, NY 10022


We talked to a bunch of elephant experts and none of them has ever seen an elephant jump. Most think it is physiologically impossible for a mature elephant to jump, although baby elephants have been known to do so, if provoked. Not only do mature elephants weigh too much to support landing on all fours, but their legs are designed for strength rather than leaping ability. Mark Grunwald, who has worked with elephants for more than a decade at the Philadelphia Zoo, notes that elephant's bone structure makes it difficult for them to bend their legs sufficiently to derive enough force to propel the big lugs up.

Yet there are a few sightings of elephants jumping in the wild. Veterinarian Judy Provo found two books in her college library that illustrate the discrepancy. S. K. Ettingham's Elephant lays out the conventional thinking: "… because of its great weight, an elephant cannot jump or even run in the accepted sense since it must keep one foot on the ground at all times." But an account in J. J. William's Elephant Bill describes a cow elephant jumping a deep ravine "like a chaser over a brook."

Animals that are fast runners or possess great leaping ability have usually evolved these skills as a way of evading attackers. Elephants don't have any natural predators, according to the San Diego Wild Animal Park's manager of animals, Alan Rosscroft: "Only men kill elephants. The only other thing that could kill an elephant is a fourteen-ton tiger."

Most of the experts agree with zoologist Richard Landesman of the University of Vermont that there is little reason for an elephant to jump in its natural habitat. Indeed, Mike Zulak, an elephant curator at the San Diego Zoo, observes that pachyderms are rather awkward walkers, and can lose their balance easily, so they tend to be conservative in their movements.