Animal Movement Resources
In our Red Fox / Coyote tracking workshop in May 2016 we compared the movement personalities of a captive red fox and a captive female coyote at Working Wildlife in Lockwood Valley, California. This short video shows the fox’s hyperactive exploration of the study enclosure; the full description of what we learned is in Earth Skills News September 2016.
In October, 2014 we held a class in wolf movement at Working Wildlife in Lockwood Valley, California. The two wolves in these videos are part of a captive “pack” that has been filmed numerous times. Though we studied the tracks and analyzed and measured the track patterns, our principal teaching from this session was how fluidly and efficiently these animals moved in contrast to domestic dogs. Viewing the videos gives you good images of leg movement sequence and foot placement in lopes, gallops and trots.
This video is a compilation of a fast walk, a trot and two pace walk sequences done by Spirit, a seven year old captive cougar handled by Steve Martin of Working Wildlife in Lockwood Valley, California. The full description of the resulting track patterns we analyzed is in the monograph "Mountain Lion Movement Study" available elsewhere on this site, but you may view and study this video at no cost.
A raccoon’s unique pace walk can be studied from this video taken by Christof Hagen of Survival Outdoor School in Switzerland.
Monographs on This Website
Mountain Lion Movement Study by Jim Lowery, $8.00. Study of a cougar’s gaits and track patterns created under controlled conditions, with detailed analysis and photos of the resulting track patterns.
Gait Analysis: Gallops, Bounds and Lopes by Jim Lowery, $5.00. These gaits are thoroughly described and illustrated in this 11-page monograph. Beyond gait classification, this treatise shows how to evaluate track patterns for speed, leg movement sequence, front and hind leads, airborne phases, three and four-beat gaits, and body posture.
Mammal Tracking Workbook II: Gaits & Track Interpretation, $9.75. This digital file which can be studied on your tablet, laptop or desktop, contains extensive discussion, exercises, photos and quizzes to help you become confident in interpreting track patterns and precisely visualizing the animal’s movement.
Animal Movement Articles from Earth Skills News (free download)
Harris, Susan E., Horse Gaits, Balance and Movement. New York: Maxwell Macmillan, 1993
Hildebrand, Milton, “Symmetrical gaits of horses,” Science, 150:701-708 (1965)
------, “Symmetrical gaits of dogs in relation to body build,” Journal of Morphology, 124:353-360 (1968)
“Analysis of asymmetrical gaits,” Journal of Mammalogy, 58:131-156 (1977)
Understanding animal movement and being able to accurately visualize it from tracks is an important skill that opens tracking to its proper depth. Through our own study and from teaching many animal movement workshops, which utilized horses, dogs and captive wild animals, we’ve compiled some videos, monographs, articles and links to assist your study.
Go to the Gaits for Trackers page to view those six videos, and to the Class-Description-Tracking section of this website to see upcoming workshops on this topic.