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fdesrochers
02-18-2013, 08:45 PM
For the life of me, I can't find the term; maybe it doesn't exist. I'm looking for a term that describes the inverted joint structure of the hind legs for an animal from the Equidae Family (horses, donkeys, etc).

Any zoologists or vets out there?

Thanks.

alleycat
02-18-2013, 08:52 PM
Maybe a hock joint? I'm not sure if that really covers what you're asking; I'm just guessing.

WriteKnight
02-18-2013, 09:28 PM
Google-fu is strong.

What appear to be knees bending backwards on animals - particularly noticeable on four-legged mammals and birds - is actually the ankle joint. The real knee joint is found further up, often against the animal's waist.

The ankle joint are made up of a collection of small bones called tarsus. All animals, whether they be plantigrade (they use the whole foot like humans), digitigrade (use the digits or toes like dogs, cats and most other mammals) or unguligrade (use the very tips of their toes like horses, camels, cows and other hoofed mammals) have tarsus bones that make up the ankle joint.

The ankle is sometimes referred as a hock or gambrel, particularly with equines.

Corussa
02-18-2013, 10:11 PM
Maybe a hock joint? I'm not sure if that really covers what you're asking; I'm just guessing.

I'd second hocks, if you're thinking of horses and donkeys etc. :)

fdesrochers
02-19-2013, 02:31 AM
Thanks for the replies guys. That was exactly 50% of what I was looking for. I wasn't sure if hock joint was the correct phrase.

The other half was whether there was a specific term for the effect that the joint (like a horse's, or a goat's) bends the opposite way from, say, a human's. This elusive term may be eluding me because it does not exist, a possibility I am ready to accept.

King Neptune
02-19-2013, 02:36 AM
The other half was whether there was a specific term for the effect that the joint (like a horse's, or a goat's) bends the opposite way from, say, a human's. This elusive term may be eluding me because it does not exist, a possibility I am ready to accept.

Their joints bend the same ways as human joints bend, but the sections of the limbs look different.

Look at this diagram and notice the bones and their relative locations. The names on the rear leg are almost the same as for humans.
http://thinklikeahorse.org/images/skeleton-horse_1.jpg

blacbird
02-19-2013, 02:46 AM
Their joints bend the same ways as human joints bend, but the sections of the limbs look different.


This, exactly. Horses run on their toes. Similar with dogs and cats and most other quadrupedal mammals.

It's humans who are weird in the relative proportions of leg and foot bones.

cas

sunandshadow
02-19-2013, 03:18 AM
The word used in furry-land is digitigrade. See picture. (Humans are plantigrade like squirrels.)
http://i24.photobucket.com/albums/c23/AbnerMario/posture.jpg