Variation in walking gaits in ungulates, part 2: the moose walks like the pygmy hippo, while warthogs walk like giraffes

@paradoxornithidae @matthewinabinett @beartracker @tandala @oviscanadensis_connerties @elliotgreiner @dejong @muir @maxallen @aguilita @jwidness @ptexis @christiaan_viljoen

...continued from https://www.inaturalist.org/journal/milewski/85161-variation-in-walking-gaits-in-ungulates-why-some-hoofed-mammals-cross-walk-whereas-others-amble-part-1#

Please see https://www.facebook.com/NaturalBridgeWildlifeRanch/videos/unique-giraffide-including-their-cousins-the-okapi-have-a-very-unique-gait-or-wa/10153423194821160/

Two salient findings emerge from part 1 of this Post. Neither has, as far as I know, been pointed out in the previous literature on gaits (https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1365-2907.1973.tb00179.x and https://zslpublications.onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1469-7998.1968.tb03031.x and https://uwspace.uwaterloo.ca/handle/10012/14529).

The surprises are as follows:

Firstly, the moose (Alces alces, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/522193-Alces-alces) and the pygmy hippo (Hexaprotodon liberiensis, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/74192-Choeropsis-liberiensis) share the same walking gait, despite their great differences in body shape, particularly the proportional lengths of the legs.

In both cases, the gait is a semi cross-walk.

Secondly, the common warthog (Phacochoerus africanus, https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/42122-Phacochoerus-africanus) and giraffes (Giraffa) share the same walking gait, despite their great differences in body size and shape, particularly the proportional lengths of the legs (https://dissolve.com/video/Locked-off-shot-two-warthog-eating-rights-managed-stock-video-footage/002-D118-68-503 and https://www.theatlantic.com/personal/archive/2013/04/friday-fauna-3-tall-giraffes-and-1-short-warthog/274723/ and https://www.travelblog.org/Photos/2106756 and https://www.istockphoto.com/photo/giraffe-oryx-warthog-species-diversity-at-a-waterhole-in-the-etosha-national-park-gm647776896-117801181).

In both cases, the gait is an amble.

The following illustrates the difference between the semi cross-walk of the common eland and the amble of giraffes.

Please focus on the limbs on the far side of the figure.

In the common eland (https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/182080028), the fore hoof lifts only when the hind hoof is placed right behind it.

By contrast, in giraffes (https://unsplash.com/photos/4NxLCYwza6g and https://classroomclipart.com/image/photo/reticulated-giraffes-walking-in-grasslands-kenya-picture-38-42926.htm), the fore hoof has already lifted by the time that the hind hoof approaches it.

This difference is not just the result of giraffes having long legs. Warthogs (https://www.alamy.com/southern-warthog-phacochoerus-africanus-sundevallii-side-view-of-an-adult-walking-on-the-ground-mpumalanga-south-africa-image354035050.html?imageid=02D8ECD0-F02C-4C14-BB66-E8696810999C&p=240867&pn=1&searchId=50bc9da712002d08dc43c752e0d32504&searchtype=0) have legs proportionately shorter than those of the common eland, yet the fore hoof has already lifted by the time that the hind hoof approaches it.

The fact that warthogs - the shortest-legged of the 'plains game' of Africa - walk like giraffes has never, as far as I know, been pointed out before.

https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/giraffe-warthog-drinking-together-waterhole-1184950966

These findings are noteworthy, because

An additional surprise is that Okapia differs from Giraffa in its walking gait - a point missed by Anne Innis Dagg despite her close scrutiny of both genera. Please see comment below, titled OKAPIA JOHNSTONI.

Posted on October 13, 2023 08:01 PM by milewski milewski

Comments

OKAPIA JOHNSTONI:

This relative of giraffes seems to amble, as Anne Innis Dagg (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anne_Innis_Dagg) observed nearly 65 years ago (https://academic.oup.com/jmammal/article-abstract/41/2/282/933378?login=false).

However, its walking gait is somewhat complicated.

On one hand, the fore hoof lifts well before the hind hoof on the same side reaches it. This is typical of an amble.

On the other hand, a difference from giraffes is that the hind hoof lifts before the fore hoof on the opposite side is set down. This indicates a semi-cross-walk.

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-okapi-zoo-walking-miami-south-florida-zoos-working-cooperatively-to-save-okapis-captivity-wild-image31826814

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y6DWuOM7FaY

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=emPj0t1UrlI

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U1VnyoSTO8o

https://safaripartner.com/blog/facts-about-okapi

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ah-3GUSmXdc and https://www.facebook.com/okapiconservationproject/videos/okapi-walking-up-stream/490832595110680/

https://www.diergaardeblijdorp.nl/en/2017/06/28/okapi-born-rotterdam-zoo/

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Okapi#/media/File:Saint-Aignan_(Loir-et-Cher)._Okapi.jpg

https://www.dreamstime.com/stock-images-okapi-walking-zoo-miami-south-florida-zoos-working-cooperatively-to-save-okapis-captivity-wild-image31827664

https://www.diergaardeblijdorp.nl/en/2017/06/28/okapi-born-rotterdam-zoo/

https://dapsmagic.com/2022/10/walt-disney-world-celebrates-world-okapi-day/

https://www.mousesteps.com/2022/10/15/baby-okapi-named-beni-born-at-disneys-animal-kingdom-lodge/

https://www.lmtonline.com/life/wildlife/article/houston-zoo-mayor-turner-okapi-18127922.php

The difference between Okapia and Giraffa can be seen in the following:

In Okapia, hind is lifted before fore lands (https://www.flickr.com/photos/ullij/4912816092)

In Giraffa, hind is lifted after fore lands (https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/reticulated-giraffe-giraffa-camelopardalis-reticulata-walking-2250130701 and https://www.shutterstock.com/image-photo/somali-giraffe-commonly-known-reticulated-giraffa-113942929)

Also see:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vh2yveXTKaU

https://stock.adobe.com/search?k=%22giraffe+walking%22&asset_id=326701663

https://stock.adobe.com/search?k=%22giraffe+walking%22&asset_id=326701752

https://stock.adobe.com/search?filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aphoto%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aillustration%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Azip_vector%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Avideo%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Atemplate%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3A3d%5D=1&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aaudio%5D=0&filters%5Binclude_stock_enterprise%5D=0&filters%5Bis_editorial%5D=0&filters%5Bfree_collection%5D=0&filters%5Bcontent_type%3Aimage%5D=1&k=%22giraffe+walking%22&order=relevance&safe_search=1&limit=100&search_page=2&get_facets=0&search_type=pagination&asset_id=326701645

Posted by milewski 9 months ago
Posted by milewski 9 months ago

AM, you ponder some very interesting topics. Working in zoos, I was around many of the animals you discuss in these observations. I never looked closely at how they walked, what was the type of the walk and the stride. I will pay more attention in the future. Very interesting! Thanks...

Posted by ptexis 9 months ago

Semi cross-walk in Redunca fulvorufula:

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/187199761

Posted by milewski 9 months ago

The following, of Sylvicapra grimmia caffra, shows a criterion for the semi cross-walk, viz. that the fore hoof lifts only after the hind hoof on the same side lands. More precisely, the fore hoof lifts as it is touched by the hind hoof, which lands in the same print.

This photo also shows the pedal flag consistently seen in this subspecies. This consists of conspicuous colouration of the pasterns (dark) and fetlocks (pale).

https://www.inaturalist.org/observations/188011896

Posted by milewski 9 months ago

First, have you read the works of Hildenbrand about gaits? Janis also has some great work on camelids

You are right about the horse, also running gets more attention than walking.

Are you working to write about this subject? There are not enough works on locomotor variation.

Hildebrand M. Walking and running. In: Hildebrand M, Bramble DM, Liem KF, Wake DB, editors. Functional Vertebrate Morphology. Cambridge, MA: Belknap Press of Harvard University; 1985. pp. 38–57.

Hildebrand, M. (1976). Analysis of tetrapod gaits: general considerations and symmetrical gaits. Neural control of locomotion, 203-236.

Hildebrand, M. (1980). The adaptive significance of tetrapod gait selection. American Zoologist, 20(1), 255-267.

Hildebrand, M., 1995. Analysis of Vertebrate Structure, fifth edition. John Wiley and Sons, New York, 635

Janis, C. M., Theodor, J. M., & Boisvert, B. (2002). Locomotor evolution in camels revisited: a quantitative analysis of pedal anatomy and the acquisition of the pacing gait. Journal of vertebrate paleontology, 22(1), 110-121.

Posted by magcl 6 months ago

@magcl

Many thanks for your most helpful comments.

Posted by milewski 6 months ago

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