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Looking at bones, joints or muscles, their function is not necessarily clear from their form. MARTIN S. FISCHER’s overarching research interest has always been the integration of form and function and the function of motion. In this video, he explains how locomotion, how animals and humans move, influences all locomotor operators. To examine the function of form the researchers need to study form during motion. For this, they use fluoroscopy (high-speed X-rays), EMG’s of muscles and observe the overall behavior of the experimental subject. This gives them the opportunity to study the three-dimensional function of limbs. They have had numerous findings, among them the mismatch of the terminology of human muscles applied to dogs; another one concerns the reason for the zigzag shape of birds’ legs. Their findings have multiple implications, for instance in the development of treatments in veterinary medicine.


Martin S. Fischer is Chair and Director of the Institute of Zoology and Evolutionary Biology at Friedrich Schiller University Jena. His commitment to the investigation of the workings of motion has led to the development of fluoroscopy. In turn, this research generated a vast collection of X-ray movies of animals in motion at the Institute. His findings on the locomotion of animals, especially that of dogs, have had considerable influence on the way it is viewed in veterinary medicine.


Friedrich Schiller University Jena (Friedrich-Schiller-Universität Jena)

The Friedrich Schiller University Jena is the only traditional university in the German state of Thuringia with 10 faculties covering all disciplines. It was founded in 1558 and today offers a broad range of almost 200 different study programmes ranging from archaeology to Studies in Economics. The student body comprises about 18,000 students who, in various rankings and studies, have time and again born testimony to the good academic and study conditions at their university. The Friedrich Schiller University is characterized by high and strong research dynamics. It has been a long tradition at the university to work interdisciplinarily, and close cooperation with non-university research institutions and the industry have always had great importance. Research at the Friedrich Schiller University focuses around the three keywords “Light – Life – Liberty”. Special attention and support is given to young scientists and academics at the University of Jena. With it's nationwide recognized Graduate Academy, the Friedrich Schiller University puts great emphasis on optimal qualifications and the highest possible quality standards. The more than 120 cooperation agreements with universities around the world underline the international orientation of the Friedrich Schiller University who has also been able to build up a reputation of preserving culture thanks to its 42 collections and museums. (Source: University of Jena)
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Original publication

Three-dimensional Inverse Dynamics of the Forelimb of Beagles at a Walk and Trot

Andrada E., Reinhardt L., Lucas K. and Fischer Martin S.
American Journal of Veterinary Research
Published in 2017

The Dental Phenotype of Hairless Dogs with FOXI3 Haploinsufficiency

Fischer Martin S., Kupczik Kornelius, Cagan Alexander and Brauer Silke
Scientific Reports
Published in 2017

A Biologically Based Neural System Coordinates the Joints and Legs of a Tetrapod

Hunt Alexander, Schmidt Manuela, Fischer Martin and Quinn Roger
Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Published in 2015

Lahmheitsuntersuchung beim Hund

Koch D. and Fischer M. S.
Published in 2015

Dogs in Motion

Fischer M. S. and Lilje K. E.
Published in 2011