Today, I"d favor to attend to one of the most prevalent mistakes that brand-new or young artists make once they begin drawing animals: "Backward knee" syndrome. This is one straightforward guideline, however if you haven"t uncovered it yet, it"s going to make a human being of distinction.

You are watching: What animals don't have knees

"Digitigrade" is an pet that walks on its digits, or toes. digitigrade pets encompass canines, felines, elephants, birds, dinosaurs and also even more.

Humans, on the other hand also, are "plantigrade" pets, definition that we walk on the soles of our feet fairly than the toes. And therein lies the confusion. Digitigrade animals do not have actually backward knees. Rather, their feet are elongated: they are balancing on their toes, and also what looks favor a knee is actually the ankle. Check it out:



Now compare that to a human foot:



This enattempt was posted in Deeper understanding of anatomy.

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Comments on "Digitigrade animals don’t have actually “backward knees”"

Junsui (unregistered visitor) January 28, 2013 11:48am

Thank you! This has been bothering me for an extremely long time. I"ve simply avoided illustration pets.

Kim - Site admin February 3, 2013 1:05pm

So glad to be helpful! I remember my own "aha!" moment as soon as someone initially proved me a canine skeleton.

Brandon (unregistered visitor) December 6, 2016 3:46pm

The really funny one is an ostwell-off, the knee is hiding~!

EduxBR (unregistered visitor) February 6, 2013 12:59am

Thank u sooooo much! =D

YoreArt February 25, 2013 2:07pm

Mike Rowe made this very same mistake on "Dirtiest Jobs" as soon as he visited the Ostaffluent Farm.

Kim - Site admin February 25, 2013 4:33pm

I did not understand that! That"s pretty funny. Thanks for the trivia! :)

Dex (unregistered visitor) April 16, 2013 10:33am

I"ve always assumed this.

Raffety Sean July 10, 2013 6:15am

OMG! Thank you!

Kim - Site admin July 10, 2013 8:20am

It"s an eye opener, isn"t it? :D I remember my aha moment!

Birds, dogs, and also cats bend their ‘knees’ backwards because those are actually their ankles! | Net Sauce (unregistered visitor) July 14, 2013 8:38am

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factPicture | Digitgrade (unregistered visitor) July 15, 2013 9:45pm

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Fog (unregistered visitor) October 12, 2013 1:21pm

This is an excellent article. I learned through animals though, so my opinion probably doesn"t count.

This is the very same with birds, a lot of civilization do not realize, and also it"s even harder to present because their hip and top leg is on the inside of their body and also it"s almost impossible to check out. At leastern through mammals you will certainly have actually vague points that resemble humale anatomy.

Another thing I desire to point out is that some animals are plantigrade (not including the evident primates) and also the majority of human being don"t understand this and also as soon as they learn how to draw dogs and cats may incorrectly draw bears and mustelids (weasels). The more you know.

Kim - Site admin October 12, 2013 8:47pm

That is a wonderful point! Maybe this will certainly make an excellent followup article. :)

jluluwe September 21, 2014 3:28am

What is the joint in between the ankle and also called?

jluluwe September 21, 2014 3:32am

Never before mind. I was looking at the picture wrong.

aAvian (unregistered visitor) October 12, 2014 9:13am

Also, an additional guideline - ungulates (hooved animals) are prefer other digitigrade pets, with a catch - they walk on their nails, not even their toes! Horses have actually one toe via one nail that they walk on, pigs and various other ungulates have two-four toes and walk on those toenails. That"s all a hoof is - a large ol" toenail!

Kim - Site admin October 14, 2014 7:01am

That is an awesome contribution! Thank you! :)

Anderboy Marques (unregistered visitor) September 9, 2015 1:56am

And a horse?

Bogdan (unregistered visitor) August 16, 2016 12:10pm

But Pluto (Disney) have backward knees :)

Sean Kresge (unregistered visitor) February 12, 2018 11:09am


Foxtrot April 24, 2018 9:22am

Ha! Ha, ha, ha, ha, I spent 4 years in an accredited university delivering a dual major, one of which was biology. You would think this would have actually been taught in the physiology classes, or at leastern covering mamology. This is brand also new to me and also is remarkable. Learning is a life lengthy persuit and also this just put me forward on the finding out range. That was magnificent.

See more: How Does Seaweed Survive In The Ocean S? How Is Seaweed Adapted To Its Environment

Kitsune (unregistered visitor) October 21, 2020 1:40pm

Thank you. I have actually been struggling to understand also this one for a lengthy time. And I necessary to recognize this the majority of simply now!

Claudesco January 21, 2021 10:40pm

Great article! I never really thought of that however simply drew what experienced. I guess it does pay to learn some anatomy! Now I"m going to stare at my dogs legs!

SnailsAndRavens March 19, 2021 8:40am

This was a very useful article. Digitigrade anatomy is very hard to attract at first as their limbs do not work the same a human beings. Thank you. :)

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