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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" 
     represent.
     
     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.   
     
     Betty Cunningham(Flyinggoat@aol.com)
                     (bcunning@nssi.com)
     illustrator, animator, and likes to collect dead things