South African scientists have discovered a new breed of cockroaches that hop through the air. Unlike other roaches that scuttle from place to place, these so-called leaproaches jump like grasshoppers.
The jumps are powered by rapid and synchronous extension of the hind legs that are twice the length of the other legs, the South African researchers explain.The species has legs built especially for jumping and sturdy antennae to stabilize their leaps.
The critters are four-tenths of an inch long, but can jump over 50 times their length and up to 20 inches in a single jump. The leaproach hops over 71 percent of the time, but otherwise scuttles like roaches.
The bug lives in grasslands feeding on grasshopper excrement in South Africa. It was found in the Silvermine Nature Reserve in the the Table Mountain National Park. According to National Geographic, the last known jumping cockroach lived in the late Jurassic period.
Watch a clip of the leaproach and judge the new critter for yourself.