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Dogs in motion
Date:5/27/2011

Professor Fischer points out. According to this in the course of the evolution limbs with three formerly two segments each developed from the legs. "And so the shoulder blade is added to the forelegs as a segment close to the body while the middle foot of the hind leg is being rebuilt", explains evolutionary biologist Fischer. Therefore it is not thigh and upper arm and lower leg and forearm that are correlated but the shoulder blade and the thigh, the upper arm and lower leg and forearm and middle foot. The centre of rotation of the front legs is the shoulder blade which is only connected to the skeleton through the musculature. The actual shoulder joint stays nearly immobile in the dogs' process of movement.

"These findings will alter the academic teaching", Professor Fischer is convinced. For this zoologists present comprehensive material with their scientific results: With the help of high definition X-ray and position data the scientists animated the course of motion into video sequences. Thus not only the dogs' skeletons can be viewed from all sides, the corresponding patterns of musculature and activity can also be studied in detail according to the gait and the phase of the movement. "In contrast to previous animations our video sequences are based on exact measurements. With this we are setting new standards", Fischer believes.

The Jena study provides another astonishing insight into the locomotion of dogs regarding the proportions of the front legs of the dog breeds examined. These were nearly identical in all dog breeds although, according to Fischer "it is clear that the upper arm of a Schnauzer is shorter than that of a Great Dane". Regarding the total length of a foreleg its length is always exactly 27 percent. Whereas the relative length of the shoulder blade varies between 24 and 34 percent. "The shoulder blade of short legged dogs is relatively long and that of greyhounds is relatively short. But the length of the upper arm
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Contact: Ute Schoenfelder
presse@uni-jena.de
49-364-193-1041
Friedrich-Schiller-Universitaet Jena
Source:Eurekalert  

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