Monday, February 29, 2016

Leap Day leapers!

Being that it's Leap Year, which only rolls around every four years, I figured that I'd better do something saltatorial. And as today is Leap Day, the time is now. So here for your viewing pleasure are some extraordinary leapers.

A bold jumping spider, Phidippus audax, perches atop the mountain of disk flowers that forms the cone of a gray-headed coneflower. The spider was stalking pollinator prey. When a victim bumbles into range, the spider will pounce like an eight-legged leopard. Photographed October 8, 2013 in Franklin County, Ohio.

While at ease in this image, eastern fence lizards, Sceloporus undulatus, can explode to life in the blink of an eye. Their speedy bursts can include impressive leaps. Photographed on April 7, 2012 in Adams County, Ohio.

A glance at the impressive legs of this curve-tailed bush katydid, Scudderia curvicaudata, gives away its common mode of locomotion. When at ease, the animal stalks about slowly and mechanically. If a threat looms, it springs to life and out of the danger zone with impressively long leaps. Photographed September 7, 2014 in Adams County, Ohio.

Grasshoppers are well known for their jumping ability, and this differential grasshopper, Melanoplus differentialis, is not an exception. Grasshoppers have thickened powerful hindlegs - fabulous springboards for their impressive leaps. Photographed in Adams County, Ohio on September 7, 2013.

I do not believe any of our amphibians can hurdle along with the jumping ability of a northern leopard frog, Lithobates pipiens. One doesn't even need a good look at the animal - the spectacularly fast and lengthy jumps as the frog flees is all it takes to cinch the identification. Photographed on May 19, 2012 in northern Michigan's Presque Isle County.

Tiny leafhoppers are capable of extraordinary leaps proportionate to their size. When they go, it's as if the bug was strapped to an ejection seat. This one (species unknown [to me]) was photographed on September 20, 2014 in Adams County, Ohio.

Lastly, the feisty red squirrel, Tamiasciurus hudsonicus. These helter-skelter beasts are prone to racing around maniacally, and their antics often include jaw-dropping leaps made at death-defying speed. This animal was imaged in Presque Isle County, Michigan on May 17, 2013.

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1 comment:

Lisa Greenbow said...

This post is so uplifting. I am so ready to see all of these leapers bounding about the garden this year. Happy leap year to you too.