Do snakes jump?

San Bernardino snake

Snakes don’t jump like other animals would jump, such as a rabbit. There are no back limbs to help give them that motion. That doesn't mean that snakes can’t appear to jump or leap, however, and this is often what it would look like if a snake were to strike at you out of nowhere. Despite not being able to conventionally jump, a snake can very easily propel a portion of its body forward in a fast movement that takes victims by surprise.

The motion is similar to that of a coiled spring or harmonica, depending on the platform on which the snake is moving from. The strong muscles of the reptile are coiled into an S-shaped formation before releasing again, sending the snake lunging towards whatever direction it was faced in.

Many snakes like to spend their time high up in the trees. When these species move from one branch to another, or even from one tree to another, it can often look as though the snake is jumping. It is not, and there will still be a part of the snake still gripping on tight to the branch or tree it is departing from.

Snakes can’t jump, but that doesn't mean that they can’t move at an incredible speed, especially when it comes to getting away from a predator or chasing after prey. Go back to the home page: Snakes of San Bernardino