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Felines vs Canines tutorial - Phylogeny + Anatomy

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*BIONERD ALERT*
The third tutorial in the tutorial series about Felines & Canines. This time quite in depth. I have tried to explain most of the technical terms, but if there are any terms or muscle/bone names that you don't know, just look them up on wikipedia/google or ask me in a comment ^^. Also - keep in mind that there are many muscle-charts and sometimes even mounted skeletons that are quite off. I have used mostly verterinary books, life references (and X-rays), two good anatomy books for artists as references (see below) and my biology study-books. Anyway - I hope that this is helpful!

See here the other tutorials in the series

I really recomment the following book if you want to study non-human animal anatomy in detail:
- An Atlas of Animal Anatomy by W.Ellenberger, H.Dittrich and H.Baum.
- Animal Anatomy for Artists - Elements of Form by Eliot Goldfinger
I would also recommend to visit your local university library and search for veterinary anatomy books. These tend to be very accurate.



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SoitsSara's avatar

Found this while I was looking for animal paw references and DANG!! This is absolutely incredible?? Thank you so much for making this + your other anatomy references as well!! Definitely going to implementing a lot of what I learned in future works! Genuinely made my week :love:

FelisGlacialis's avatar

Thanks for the compliments and I'm glad that it turned out to be useful and that it made your week ^^

Vannjaren's avatar

Possibly my FAVOURITE sheet of the series, but... that is probably not surprising.

Anatomy nerding FTW! :headbang:

(well, my anatomy knowledge is weak as feck but I'm interested at least I guess...)

Also like how you make the point that many museum skeletons or diagrams are mounted/drawn incorrectly - YESS, THIS!!!

Seen so many diagrams and mounts that just... YIKES, look hideously off...

(though on Kroven terms, even musculature is way closer to felids - even the pronounced deltoid, large v. lateralis, and the biceps femoris is a broad and long "sheet" of muscle but not thick or round at all, and soleus + gastrocnemius much more developed, where this group is kinda tiny in canids... horses also have this rather big and pronounced as I'm sure you know.)


Also really LOVE the detail of the facial muscles, as even many anatomy diagrams I've seen don't really pay attention to that, so it's nice to see how you've included that, and how it helps to form the differences in the facial shapes under the skin

FelisGlacialis's avatar

Yep mine too! I still have to print it and hang it on my wall. I actually want to make a similar chart of siderians soon (after the 13th of July...you know why I guess). There are still some things that I want to clarify in siderian anatomy - especially the front-paws and the thumb but also the musculature on the hind-legs and shoulders.


LOL yeah I remember we drew that in Trondheim too - in that sense I remember Krovens having indeed the same musculature as Felines. Indeed the biceps femoralis is nothing more but a sheet - very good description! I've always struggled to explain that to people. It's indeed vastis lateralis and gastrocnemius+soleus that are much bigger in felines (particularly in Stian...he just doesn't seem to have much upperleg muscle and has all his strenght concentrated on his lowerlegs...which is partly due to physical damage in the past... it gives him quite an interesting gait which is much more 'towards the front).


Yeah the facial muscles were quite tricky to reconstruct - I hardly had any good references and had to extrapolate a bit, but I think it's accurate for as far as my knowledge goes.

Vannjaren's avatar

Ha, it would look good on your wall... I don't have anything on my walls back at my parent's house, though I do have ONE thing here as there were existing hooks, so I was able to stick up my MetallicA flag I got at one of their concerts, but other than that, nothing... not allowed


And I would LOVE to see that, especially for those anatomy parts you mention, but yeah there are some things that take priority first for the date, and indeed I know what it represents


Yeah, the sketches on the spare paper, heh. And that's sort of how I would word it - and to be more specific, I'd describe the biceps femoris of Krovens and felines to be a "fan-shaped sheet" - it starts at a narrow origin on the ischial tuberosity, and makes a broad yet flat fan shape as it gets wider (in lateral view only) on the way to the insertion on the tibia and fibula.

It's very hard to convey that to people in general though, who seem to be used to drawing or seeing "chicken-drumstick" legs for canids with big round thighs and stick lower legs.

I also would say that Krovens don't have "stick legs" like canines, but more "blade legs" - narrow in front, but wider from the side by far (though older art didn't show that well enough at all ^^'), and I think this applies to more slender felines too.


But yeah - canines don't even HAVE a true soleus muscle at all, but the GN+S are much more prominent in felines (in Krovens too - especially in Kårstatt these muscles are larger). And yeah I think that was related to him being shot, wasn't it? Or was it some other injury perhaps? And yeah I can see him indeed with that forward-tilted gait. Habicht also has a kind of weird stance and gait following the loss of his tail - he moves fine but his balance is quite different, and he was proportionally much heavier in the forequarters to start with even before his tail was lost, so he almost stomps with his front paws.


I can imagine so - good references for facial muscles are very lacking actually, and some diagrams even seem to contradict each other with nomenclature and such, it doesn't seem to be as well studied/illustrated as some other aspects of anatomy - but indeed it appears accurate here and also shows the important differences.

lapis-lazuri's avatar
And this! This! Ahhhhhh, the bionerd in me celebrating. What I especially love is how you explained the morphological and anatomical features in relation to their evolution and way of life. I mean, of course it is related, of course it is all determined by evolution, but it's really, REALLY awesome to see it in practice and examples. Also even better with my own biology knowledge to read through all of this because I'm pretty sure I can read more - a lot of things you have only brushed upon or don't even mention.
Anyway, this was really awesome to read!
Yay for skulls, bones and muscles, AAAAAAAAAAA!!!I'm on fire! 
FelisGlacialis's avatar

Ha another extremely late reply here. But yes, this is also my favourite chart as proper bionerd! I still want to make a similar -updated- one on siderians.

I've also had the thought to explain functional morphology between felines and canines in relation to behaviour and ecology, but that would have been another quite huge job. Maybe I do that once, or I just focus on siderians.

lapis-lazuri's avatar

Oh! Please do that!! I mean.... -cough- ....when you have time and energy. Knowing how busy you are....

adulaide's avatar
These are all immensely helpful, thanks!

It looks amazing

NatalyaLycan's avatar
canine supreme race! Fight me !!
Mudstar-Sibera's avatar
No species is supreme over any other. Please show some respect.
ClassicalSalamander's avatar
This is super cool, I love it! :heart:
BeckyKidus's avatar

As a fellow bionerd I have to say this is the most interesting tutorial yet... I would say that the first one is the generally most useful for the common artist (not that this isn't useful, of course), but anatomy is just interesting. Looking at my fox skull on my desk... Which I inevitably compared to the drawings :XD: And I learned a few new things too, which is always great ^^

FelisGlacialis's avatar
Yeah thanks! I really agree- I really likes studying functional morphology and find this also the most interesting part. I'm still considering a more in-depth study of siderian anatomy (or maybe leopard for more general use...but siderian would be most useful for me) that I might share here. My idea is to make yet another muscle chart with all the individual muscle attachment, different angles of limbs and stuff and an in depth study of siderian paws...because that is complicated ^^;
Shirotsuki-MoonBeast's avatar
This is fantastic! Going to be a great help for me! =D
TheHelleri's avatar
You should send this to the Phylogeny Explorer Project.
Y-Esk's avatar
VERY well done! :w00t: Thanks for making it 
Patchi1995's avatar
I can hardly wait for the tutorial series, spinoffs of Felines vs. Canines, are like Bears vs. Hyaenas, Mongooses vs. Mustelids, Procyonids vs. Viverrids, and Euplerids vs. Pinnipeds. What's a bionerd?
FelisGlacialis's avatar
I haven't planned to do all the carnivores (since this takes huge amounts of time to make) but I did think of a short to-the-point tutorial about the differences between canines and hyaenas.
Also - a bionerd is a nerd in the field of biology ^^
Kaicie-Sloan's avatar
Thank you so much for doing these!
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