Skip to main content

Thank you for visiting You are using a browser version with limited support for CSS. To obtain the best experience, we recommend you use a more up to date browser (or turn off compatibility mode in Internet Explorer). In the meantime, to ensure continued support, we are displaying the site without styles and JavaScript.

Energetic Cost of Locomotion in Kangaroos


THE hopping of kangaroos is reminiscent of a bouncing ball or the action of a pogo stick. This suggests a significant storage and recovery of energy in elastic elements. One might surmise that the kangaroo's first hop would require a large amount of energy whereas subsequent hops could rely extensively on elastic rebound. If this were the case, then the kangaroo's unusual saltatory mode of locomotion should be an energetically inexpensive way to move.

Access options

Rent or Buy article

Get time limited or full article access on ReadCube.


All prices are NET prices.


  1. 1

    Taylor, C. R., Schmidt Nielsen, K., and Raab, J. L., Am. J. Physiol., 219, 1104 (1970).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. 2

    Windsor, D. E., and Dagg, A. I., J. zool Res., 163, 165 (1971).

    Google Scholar 

  3. 3

    Dawson, T. J., and Hulbert, A. J., Am. J. Physiol., 218, 1233 (1970).

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  4. 4

    Badoux, D. M., Acta Anat., 62, 418 (1965).

    Article  Google Scholar 

  5. 5

    Hildebrand, M., Scient. Am., 202, 148 (1960).

    CAS  Article  Google Scholar 

  6. 6

    Troughton, E., Furred Animals of Australia (Halstead Press, Sydney, 1967).

    Google Scholar 

  7. 7

    Tyndaie-Biscoe, H., Life of Marsupials (Elsevier, New York, 1973).

    Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information



Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

DAWSON, T., TAYLOR, C. Energetic Cost of Locomotion in Kangaroos. Nature 246, 313–314 (1973).

Download citation

Further reading


By submitting a comment you agree to abide by our Terms and Community Guidelines. If you find something abusive or that does not comply with our terms or guidelines please flag it as inappropriate.


Quick links

Nature Briefing

Sign up for the Nature Briefing newsletter — what matters in science, free to your inbox daily.

Get the most important science stories of the day, free in your inbox. Sign up for Nature Briefing