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GSP1954@aol.com wrote:

> Michael & Jonathon state that there are differences between the trot and
> pace. Of course there are. Read what I said carefully. I did not say they are
> identical. My statement that the gaits are functional equivalents and cannot
> be told apart in lateral silhouette. Compare plates 44 & 55 in Muybridge 1957
> and imagine that the figures are solid black, the trot and pace are the same
> in this view.

If you're simpleminded enough to only look at still plates, then no,
they can't be told apart.  If you use some common sense and look at real
animals in motion, or even normal-speed films of animals in motion, you
can tell them apart.  The pace produces a distinctive mild rolling
motion as the support and thrust alternate sides.  The trot produces no
such motion, because thrust and support are both always distributed
evenly and symmetrically. 

> The canter is not as Jonathon suggested a separate level between the
> trot-pace on one hand and the gallop, it is basically a slow gallop. 

You're just digging yourself in deeper, Doc.  I've ridden cantering
horses and galloping horses, and watched others ride them too.  They are
definitely different gaits.  The canter is a three-beat gait with a
specific, recognizable sequence of footfalls.  The gallop is a four-beat
gait with a different, equally recognizable sequence of footfalls.  The
canter can be controlled down to barely faster than walking speed, but
the gallop has only two speeds: fast and faster. <g>  No one who was
familiar with mammalian gaits would call the one "basically a slow"
version of the other.  And I daresay that no one who has such a poor
understanding of mammalian gaits should be speculating on dinosaurian
ones, no matter how many times he's convinced his colleagues his
thoughts on the matter are worth publishing.  

> You also state you are not familiar with reptiles gaits. All those who have
> published on the fast crocodilian bound call it a gallop. It is very similar
> to the symmetrical gallop of squirrels etc. Don't get after me for using the
> commonly applied term.

Then someone should come up with a new name for it.  It's deceptive to
use the same word to describe a horse's high-speed gait and a croc's
high-speed gait.  Would you call a kangaroo's high-speed gait a

> Jonathon does exactly what is the problem with this discussion. He asks an
> expert how fast elephants can move. The expert Haight then replies, with
> claims that sound fantastical. That elephants can sprint at 30 mph for a
> short distance, a speed way up into the mammalian galloping range, about 7
> mph faster than Carl Lewis, only 4 mph less than a racing greyhound, and 8
> mph less than the typical winner of a horse race. 

Well, of course his statements sound fantastic, if you deliberately
misinterpret them like that.  _I_ understood Jay to be saying that
elephants can reach an initial surge speed of 30mph for the first couple
of strides.  Then they drop to 20-24mph, a speed they can maintain for
up to a quarter-mile depending on the individual elephant.  

Let's see now . . . I quoted several sources that say an elephant can
move up to 20-24mph.  I asked an elephant expert, who said the same
thing.  Others have given personal observations that also indicate
elephants moving around 20mph in a charge.  But Doc here is waving all
that aside as hearsay and inadmissible, while he fixes his entire
position on an analysis of elephant leg mechanics and _one_ observation
of an alleged "elephant race" in which the winner never exceeded 12mph. 
Anybody else see something odd about this situation?

-- JSW