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Elephants run, in Nature



A short report by Hutchinson and colleagues, concerning their study of
modern animal locomotion (in this case, _Elephas maximus_).  It turns out
that elephants DO run, at least under a biomechanical point of view: that
is, while moving quickly they engage in locomotion in which the center of
mass is lowest at mid-stance (not highest, as in walking gaits).  Elephants
thus are running under the biomechanical definition, even if they don't have
a suspended phase.

Incidentally, they clocked their elephants at up to 6.8 m/s (25 km/h).

Cool stuff.

Hutchinson, J.R., Famini, D., Lair, R. & Dram, R. 2003. Are fast-moving
elephants running? Nature, 422:493 - 494.

                Thomas R. Holtz, Jr.
                Vertebrate Paleontologist
Department of Geology           Director, Earth, Life & Time Program
University of Maryland          College Park Scholars
                College Park, MD  20742
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~tholtz/tholtz.htm
http://www.geol.umd.edu/~jmerck/eltsite
Phone:  301-405-4084    Email:  tholtz@geol.umd.edu
Fax (Geol):  301-314-9661       Fax (CPS-ELT): 301-405-0796