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re:tucking -and- stride
>There is a now-out-of-print work by a Russian scientist (Sukhailov,
>or somesuch) who did some interesting work on the gaits of animals; I
>haven't read the book cover-to-cover, but I don't recall the work
>touching on the resultant trackways.
If this is the book I'm thinking about (haven't seen it since school)
the author describes which foot makes contact with the ground
according to stride, but he doesn't record distance between each
footfall. So in the case of similar "footprints" from different
strides, much would depend on how far each leg travelled, something
this author leaves out. I think he was more concerned with the
pattern/mechanisms of the body movements, rather than distance
travelled, so he may not (if it indeed is the same fellow) be the best
example to use in figuring out trackways and what they "actually"
Eadweard Muybridge did some track recordings in his 11 volume set of
Animal Locomotion, (NOT the abridged Dover edition) but most of his
work was strictly recording motion from the side, front, or back, not
what was left in the dirt behind.
Lots of stuff in a track would also be dependant on the animal's
behavior. Dogs leave very scattered footprints while walking, leaving
clear marks from all 4 feet. Cats, however, though they move
similarily to dogs during their walking gait, leave less-easy-to-read
footprints as they overlap front and rear footprints. The gaits are
nearly identical in mechanism between dogs and cats. It's a
combination of things such as different bodylength-to-leglength and
behaviorial things such as dogs are pack hunters and don't feel the
need to hide their presence in an environment, but cats are solitary
hunters and do try to hide their presence in the environment.
Now try to apply that to something that we aren't entirely sure who
left the footprints, in the first place.
illustrator, animator, and likes to collect dead things