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Word of the Week: Gait
March 07, 2018 by Sammy Tangir

We are bringing back the Word of the Week! Stay tuned for a new word each Wednesday to amp up your nature vocabulary!

Two different gaits: The bounding pattern of the eastern cottontail rabbit (left) and unique alternating walk of the raccoon (right) whose front and hind legs move almost simultaneously, making for paired tracks.

Gait [GEYT] (noun): the pattern or way in which animals, including humans, move their limbs to travel

Most mammals use a variety of gaits. In High Park we can witness different gaits in the snow or mud (see above image). Watch Stephen Leckman act out various mammal gaits in this video: click here! Tip: go to the settings (the image of the gear) to slow down the video speed further and better visualize the gaits.

Try it out for yourself! Which is your preferred gait?

Sammy Tangir - Sammy is a serious nature nerd and especially enthusiastic about plants! When she is not thinking of next week's nature word, she is working as an outdoor educator and practicing her wood carving skills.

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