Biomechanics: Are fast-moving elephants really running?

@article{Hutchinson2003BiomechanicsAF,
  title={Biomechanics: Are fast-moving elephants really running?},
  author={John R. Hutchinson and Dan Famini and Richard Lair and Rodger Kram},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2003},
  volume={422},
  pages={493-494}
}
It is generally thought that elephants do not run, but there is confusion about how fast they can move across open terrain and what gait they use at top speed. Here we use video analysis to show that Asian elephants (Elephas maximus L.) can move at surprisingly high speeds of up to 6.8 m s−1 (25 km h−1) and that, although their gait might seem to be a walk even at this speed, some features of their locomotion conform to definitions of running. 

Paper Mentions

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Mathematical analyses presented here show that ambling ensures continuous contact of the body with the substrate while dramatically reducing vertical oscillations of the center of mass, which may explain why ambling appears to be preferable to trotting for extremely large terrestrial mammals such as elephants and for arboreal mammals like primates that move on unstable branches. Expand
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