The hind legs of the locust amplify jumping power via energy stored in muscle attachment sites.


"And that's where energy storage comes in. Down to the size of a trout or a squid tentacle, unaided muscle can do a decent job with nothing more than ordinary leverage. Below that, muscle needs help; in practice, energy is put in slowly and stored elastically. Some kind of trigger then releases it at a higher rate. Work and energy may be conserved, but power gets amplified... A locust or grasshopper jumping with its hindlegs stores up work in chitinous apodemes and gets a tenfold power amplification (Bennet-Clark 1975)... Each of these creatures has some kind of a mechanical catch to prevent premature extension while the work is being put in; the specific arrangements, though, are different for each case." (Vogel 2003:476)

Comparative Biomechanics: Life's Physical World, Second EditionJune 17, 2013
Steven Vogel

Journal article
The energetics of the jump of the locust Schistocerca gregaria.Journal of Experimental BiologyAugust 1, 1975
Bennet-Clark, HC

Living System/s

Desert LocustSchistocerca gregariaSpecies