Charming Animation Illustrates the Different Gaits of Four Legged Animals

Can't get enough of the funny way your dog or cat trots around? Animator Stephen Cunnane breaks things down with his mesmerizing animal gait animation. Focusing on four-legged animals (quadrupeds) Cunnane's animation moves from walk to sprint, giving a close-up detail on how the paws' movement makes the body gently sway.

“Animals walk weird…who knew?! This animated video helps break down animal gaits for animators, artists, or any old fan of studying creatures,” Cunnane writes. And clearly, his work has been a hit, with over 60,000 views of the clever clip. If you think looking at the gaits of animals is all fun and games, it's actually serious business.

Animals not only change their gait depending on the type of terrain, but some—like lizards—even use it to help with respiration. Interestingly, humans were unable to fully understand and define the gaits of animals until photography made it possible to create still images of animals in motion. English photographer Eadweard Muybridge's 1878 images of The Horse in Motion was even taken to help settle the idea that at some point, all four of a horse's hooves leave the ground when trotting.

Across six different gaits—walk, amble, pace, trot, canter, and gallop—Cunnane uses a canine to demonstrate a type quadruped gait. The well-designed animation will bring a smile and any pet owner or animal lover who can't get enough of watching mammals move. And, if you prefer insects, Cunnane has another animation for you.

Stephen Cunnane created a charming animation detailing the gait of four-legged animals.

Interested in the way insects move instead? Don't worry, Cunnane's got you covered.

Stephen Cunnane: Website | Facebook | Instagram | Vimeo 
h/t: [Laughing Squid]

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Jessica Stewart

Jessica Stewart is a Staff Editor and Digital Media Specialist for My Modern Met, as well as a curator and art historian. Since 2020, she is also one of the co-hosts of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. She earned her MA in Renaissance Studies from University College London and now lives in Rome, Italy. She cultivated expertise in street art which led to the purchase of her photographic archive by the Treccani Italian Encyclopedia in 2014. When she’s not spending time with her three dogs, she also manages the studio of a successful street artist. In 2013, she authored the book 'Street Art Stories Roma' and most recently contributed to 'Crossroads: A Glimpse Into the Life of Alice Pasquini'. You can follow her adventures online at @romephotoblog.
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