Is a Bird's "backward" facing knees Anatomically superior to a Mammals "forward" facing knees for movement?


A Bird


Mammals can run fast but generally birds seem better equipped at smaller and larger sizes to run faster. Have you ever noticed that even walking uphill, it's easier to walk backwards for less energy use.

Ostriches, roadrunners etc are incredibly fast

  • Birds are better designed
    Vote A
  • Mammals are better designed
    Vote B
  • Other
    Vote C
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  • Nope.
    Firstly, as someone else pointed out, they are actually using the same running motion as other bipeds - it's just that they effectively have an extra joint in their foot as well (it's most obvious if you look at that velociraptor).
    Secondly, if you look at a fast quadruped such as a cheetah or greyhound, you'll see that they're making extensive use of their back muscles as well as all four limbs, which gives them more power and a much longer stride length. As a result, cheetahs are much, much faster than ostriches, and even a whippet is a little faster, in spite of being tiny in comparison.


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What Girls Said 0

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What Guys Said 2

  • they are better designed for short bursts, but mammals are hands down more about distance and duration, especially humans.

    there is a guy who made boots that effectively triple a humans speed though that is modeled after birds, pretty cool actually, though he looks silly lol

    • I don't know about duration, humans aren't the fastest but when it comes to faster mammals. i. e cheetah, lions, tigers etc. they tend to have weaker hearts that prevent them from doing duration. Also the movement of the body tends to need a lot mroe oxygen because of the constant compression and decompression caused through the legs curving forward to spring off on.

      birds are designed with really well oxygenated hearts, there is no compression forced upon their body with only two legs so they tend to be able to cruise at faster speeds longer. i. e an ostrich has no problem cruising at 35 mph. humans don't have this compression disadvantage but at the same time aren't capable of going to the same speed for long durations either

    • No, but I could be wrong, but just about any mammal could run longer than any bird, even if not by much or as fast. I do know humans are by fr the best long distance runners or any animal though. All I mean is, that that structure is not practical for prolonged use. Even the Ostrich can't run for more than a few minutes... but, obviously much faster than us, this type of leg structure is ideal for them though as it helps with flight and is much lighter, with less muscle than mammals legs.

  • That joint corresponds to the ankle, not their knee. Many animals run 'on their toes', it's not a bird/mammal thing.