Crested geckos are arboreal creatures. This means that the crested gecko spends most of its life on trees – climbing on and jumping from one branch to another.
They love to jump around and seldom spend any time on the ground. Even in captivity, a crested gecko would be most active when it has enough foliage in its tank to jump around.
Are Crested Geckos Able To Jump?
Yes, crested geckos are able to jump. In fact, in the wild, they spend most of their time either climbing up on or jumping from one tree to another.
They have the great athletic ability when it comes to jumping and they can easily jump a fair distance of 5 to 6 times their body length.
The crested gecko has a flawless technique for jumping. When a crested gecko jumps, it extends both – its front legs and back legs – and moves forward in the air.
Crested geckos spend most of their time in trees and so jumping becomes part of how they naturally traverse from one place to another.
Why Do Crested Geckos Jump?
There are 5 major reasons why crested geckos often jump.
Baby Crested Geckos Are Young & Energetic
If you have had the opportunity to see a very young crested gecko, you may have observed that it seldom sits still on the ground.
Baby crested geckos, not unlike the younglings of other animals, are full of energy and curiosity.
They jump around for a variety of reasons. Some of them are simply too active and playful, while some others love to explore the territory that they call home.
Younger crested geckos also jump around when hunting or foraging for food.
Being Arboreal, Jumping Is Often A Part Of How They Travel
As is known by many reptile owners and gecko enthusiasts, a crested gecko is a very active and naturally arboreal animal.
This goes on to mean that for crested geckos in the wild, jumping is literally a part of the way they naturally go from one place to another.
Since they spend most of their time on trees and branches, in order to go from one place to another, they have to jump from one branch to another branch or vine.
Crested Geckos Jump & Pounce When Hunting
Crested geckos are omnivorous and frugivorous. This means that their diet consists of a mixture of insects and fruits.
So, while foraging for fruits they may traverse the grounds, when hunting for insects, they prefer the sit-and-wait approach of hunting.
They quietly position themselves behind the insect and pounce on it. The element of surprise prevents the insect from escaping.
Crested Geckos Get Jumpy When On Guard
The crested gecko is a highly solitary animal. It doesn’t enjoy being handled frequently. Moreover, it gets easily surprised.
In the wild, the crested gecko is a relatively small to moderate-sized prey for many birds and snakes and has to always be on alert. Similarly, in captivity also, the crested gecko gets easily spooked.
So, if you suddenly pick it up, it may get spooked and jump suddenly.
Crested Geckos May Jump To Their Owners When They Get Familiar
If you have spent ample time with your crested gecko and developed a friendly rapport, it may jump onto you to greet you.
This, however, is observed only with crested geckos that have spent enough time with their owners.
Do They Like To Jump?
In a word, yes. Crested geckos love to jump around. It is a part of their natural way of traversing from one place to another – so, jumping also becomes a habit of sorts for the crested gecko.
Baby crested geckos are very energetic and enthusiastic. They jump due to their inherent playfulness. They also jump around to explore their territory.
Adult crested geckos jump around to get from one tree branch to another. They also jump for hunting.
Pet crested geckos, who are kept in captivity and don’t really need to jump around for hunting or foraging, simply jump around because they like doing so.
They are active and adventurous, and if you provide ample foliage in their enclosures, they will spend most of their nighttime jumping around and enjoying their solitude.
What Is The Maximum Height A Crested Gecko Can Be Jumping Safely?
While crested geckos jump around a lot, the safest maximum height that they can jump without sustaining any severe injuries is approximately 9 times their snout-vent length.
The snout-vent length in lizards is the length that is measured from the tip of their snout to the base of their tail. The average snout-vent length of a crested gecko is approximately 4-4.5 inches.
By that, you can see how the maximum height that a crested gecko can safely jump is about 9 times 4.5 inches, or, 40.5 inches – that is around 3.5 feet!
How Far Can A Gecko Fall?
Now, the maximum height that a crested gecko can jump is 3.5 feet. But the safest height that a crested gecko can survive a fall with minimal or no injuries is higher than that.
A lot of experiments have been carried out by scientists on geckos, in general, to figure out their jumping and landing mechanics.
Most of these experiments have revealed that almost all species of geckos can survive a fall of about 5 feet with minimal injuries.
However, to ensure the safety of pet crested geckos, it is important to not let them jump or fall from such heights. The reason behind this is that in the wild, there is a lot of foliage.
There are lots of vines and branches, and heaps of leaves and all of these provide a platform that allows the crested geckos to land comfortably with minimal impact.
In the house, however, a crested gecko could hit the corner of some furniture, or it may land on some flooring that isn’t exactly helpful in a comfortable landing. This increases the risk of injuries.
Can Crested Geckos Get Hurt From Jumping?
Yes, crested geckos can get hurt from jumping. It is always imperative to not let the crested gecko jump too high, especially when it is out of its enclosure.
There are 2 major concerns associated with the jumping of crested geckos:
The Crested Gecko Could Sustain Hidden Injuries
While it is claimed that a gecko can survive a fall from 5 feet and can jump up to 3.5 feet, these numbers usually hold true for the wild habitat. In captivity, the numbers may as well be pretty low.
And while it may not seem like your crested gecko has sustained an injury on the surface, there could be hidden injuries, namely:
- Internal bleeding;
- Visceral rupture, or;
- Broken bones
So, if you happen to witness limping or lethargy in your crested gecko, or if your gecko jumps too high or falls from somewhere, it is recommended that you consult a vet to rule out any serious conditions.
Metabolic Bone Disorder & Jumping
It is a known fact that crested geckos love to jump around. But it is also fairly known that crested geckos in captivity are prone to metabolic bone disorders.
This happens when the crested gecko develops of deficiency of calcium and vitamin D3.
The bones of such crested geckos are not strong enough to handle high jumps or falls.
A crested gecko with metabolic bone disorder is very likely to suffer from fractures and broken bones when experiencing a high jump or fall.
And it easily takes around a year and a half for a crested gecko to completely recover from broken bones.
Crested geckos are arboreal, adventurous, and very active. They love to jump around, and in the wild, they can jump up to 3.5 feet and survive falls from around 5 feet.
In captivity, however, it is imperative to take precautions and not let your crested gecko jump too high.
It can sustain hidden injuries which can be hard and cumbersome to recover from.