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Old Apr 24 2012, 08:37 PM   #1
JadeRavenwing
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Default Dragon Locomotion

New here, but I had some curiosities, mainly in the form of Dragon Locomotion. Specifically? On the ground.

Dragons seem to have been described as having a strange hop-skip walk, due to the size of their hind-legs. I made a model of a Pern Dragon recently, and as I went to animate it I sat and thought for a moment.

If a Pern Dragon were to swing their hind-legs up while their front legs remained on the ground then all that extra weight of the wings and chest muscles would quiet likely crush their tiny little arms. So any typical gallop would not be able to be used.

A normal quadrupedal walk could probably be possible, but I'm not entirely sure on that as I'm not an expert on locomotion.

So I came up with this strange thing: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0uc9EkiGhhA

At any given point of time there is always a rear foot on the ground to support the weight. Especially when the front legs contact the ground, so i would assume that there would be less shock transferred through the front legs with this half walk half gallop sort of motion?

So in the end you still get that characteristic awkward hop-skip motion of a Pern Dragon.


What do you guys think? Is this a plausible form of locomotion?

Are there any other forms of movement of a Pern Dragon you'd like to see?
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Old Apr 25 2012, 04:49 PM   #2
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Default Re: Dragon Locomotion

looks pretty good to me, but then I don't know much about locomotion either...
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Old Apr 29 2012, 07:59 PM   #3
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Default Re: Dragon Locomotion

Apparently this place is more dead than I thought.
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Old Apr 30 2012, 12:08 PM   #4
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Default Re: Dragon Locomotion

Just because people haven't commented doesn't mean we aren't here. In my case, about all I would have said is 'hey, that's neat, I could see that working', but I have insufficient understanding of biomechanics to provide legitimate discussion, thus, no comment.
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Old May 1 2012, 07:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: Dragon Locomotion

This is the first plausible looking gait I've really seen and it's a lovely model. It seems similar to the canter in a horse? The only thing I really know about biomechanics is Muybridge.
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Old May 3 2012, 11:41 AM   #6
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Default Re: Dragon Locomotion

... and he was a photographer.
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Old May 3 2012, 01:38 PM   #7
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Default Re: Dragon Locomotion

The front legs look too long to me and the gait too smooth for what's desribed (which, as far as the skip/hop thing goes, sound more like a kangaroo using quadrupedal locomotion or more like a rabbit-oversized "leaping" haunches with small forelimbs.) the dragons just aren't going to move smootly or comfortably on the ground-they're not terrestrial animals and are always described as being very awkward on the ground. Their primary means of motion is flight, most of the forebody muscles will go to support the wings, not the front legs. They'd need to use their wings (or TK) to keep the front end up while pushing from behind.
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Old May 3 2012, 01:40 PM   #8
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Default Re: Dragon Locomotion

Also, the hind end is too small and as you've (correctly) given them more human-like forelimbs, they can't put even that much weight smoothly and comfortably on them for any length of time because the bone lengths aren't meant to take that sort of weight. They have picking/grasping forelimbs (like a human's) and those are hinged wrong for walking.
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Old May 5 2012, 03:43 PM   #9
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Wow, I think the animation is great. What program did you use? In terms of movement, I agree with Anerth. I even think I remember reading that the movement on the ground was sort of a hopping movement like a rabbit. The overall design of the dragon is a little different than I pictured, but I love to see everyones interpretation of pern dragons. I too have attempted to model these dragons in 3d, but haven't progressed to animation. Great job, and I'd love to see more.
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Old May 20 2012, 10:10 AM   #10
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Default Re: Dragon Locomotion

I don't know if this is relevant, or wheter it's already been discarded due to no wings, or because it's something obvious to everybody here that it dosn't work for dragons, but if i recall rightly, it is thought that some of the duckbill dinosaurs had a small-forelimb-long-hindlimb arrangenent. The difference being (apart from the wings) that they were designed to walk on this arrangement, and stand (or run) upright.

Dannette.
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Old May 20 2012, 11:18 PM   #11
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Default Re: Dragon Locomotion

Something just crossed my mind, hop skip jump and using the wing for lift, from Dragonsdawn Sean's discription of his dragon, just before the two of them fly together for the first time.
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