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Sunday, July 12, 2009

Favorite Sunday Video: Elephant Gait Analysis

by Fran Jurga | 12 July 2009 | Fran Jurga's Hoof Blog

It has been reported here, and published in scientific journals, that elephants have limited gaits. Research tells us that they can't run, or even trot, and they can only accelerate their walk, according to research conducted at the Motion and Structure Laboratory at the Royal College of Veterinary Medicine in England.

"Poor elephants," I always thought. Stuck in a four-beat walk their entire lives.

But I think those researchers should take a look at this video. It never fails to make me smile...and to want to go for a swim.

Maybe elephants have some secrets that they keep to themselves. If this is a four-beat gait, it's done with such obvious enjoyment.

Question: when horses swim, do they move their limbs independently (four beats) or in diagonal or lateral pairs (like a trot or pace)? Just curious...

Elephant lovers: Click here for another favorite video, the elephant on a trampoline. Elephants have all the fun!


Suzy Meathrell said...

Horses swim in a broken trot - diagonal pairs of legs, but the timing is a little off.

Watch the Black Stallion - nice shots of horses swimming!

IceRyder said...

Weight (or the lack of weight :-)) will affect the gait that the horse is able / willing to do. Take a horse that only trots (or is only three-gaited, walk, trot, canter) at liberty, add a saddle, bit, rider, and the horse may easily run walk or saddle rack.

Cheryl said...

To be that big and to suddenly be so bouyant. No wonder they are so joyful!

Wildcat said...

Cheryl - my thoughts exactly!
The music fits perfectly.
What a hoot.

Fran Jurga said...

Whenever I need to be cheered up, this video does the trick. It is good medicine. I had a couple of these at one time. My very own swimming elephant film festival.

I'm glad some of you enjoyed it!

theliteraryhorse said...

I love this! I can see why it lightened your day. To be able to float and swim and play must be an incredible thing for such heavy animals.
I was surprised too, to see an elephant with it's entire head underwater, ears and all.

Had to watch the trampoline, so fun!

BMB said...

a bit late, but I found this video of the horse swimming where you can clearly see his gait. Very cool.