Three RVC academics and experts, from the Structure and Motion Laboratory, Professor John Hutchinson, Dr. Chris Basu and Professor Alan Wilson are are collaborating with Dr Francois Deacon, lecturer in wildlife sciences at the University of the Free State in South Africa on project using drones to research the secrets of giraffe locomotion.
The Arabic derivation of the word term "giraffe" is ‘someone who walks fast’, and it is precisely this locomotion that encouraged researchers, Dr Francois Deacon and Dr Chris Basu, to study the animals more closely.
Despite the fact that giraffes are such well-known animals, very little research has been done on the manner in which these graceful animals locomote from one place to the next. There are only two known ways of locomotion: the slower lateral walking and the faster galloping. Most animals use these ways of moving forward. It is unknown why giraffes avoid intermediate-speed trotting.