Monday, January 13, 2014

Dogs in Motion

 When dogs run, is the pattern of motion the same in a  Great Dane and a Chihuahua?

I'd have guessed no, but apparently I'd have been wrong.  No matter what shape or size, the canine body moves the same. Scientists figured this out recently.

Researchers used high definition x-rays and video cameras to record thousands of hours and multiple angles of hundreds of running dogs, representing 32 breeds.  Their findings were a surprise.

Eight pounds to eighty, every canine body moves the same way no matter what shape it is. Part of the reason is math:  Shoulder blade size varies from one breed to the next as does lower leg length, but in all dogs, the upper portion of the front leg is always 27% of the total limb length (from shoulder blade top to end of paw).

This is what else they discovered:
1. In all dogs,  the shoulder blade and thigh grow in relation to one another.

2. The upper front leg and lower back leg grow in synchrony.

3. The lower front leg and middle portion of the paw are proportioned to each other.

You'd have thought researchers would have figured this out sooner, since the first film of a running dog was shot in 1885 by Eadweard Muybridge.

If you want to see Muybridge's motion picture of a running dog, see it at The Bark magazine.

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