when gazelles spot a lion or cheetah on the Savannah, rather than
running away at full speed, they stot wherein they punch the ground with
their forelimbs, stiff-legged, and with a hunched back, propel
themselves high in the air in a series of bounds. For a moment between
leaps, they float, suspended in mid air.  



to mainstream biology the stot is an ostentatious display of fitness
that indicates such a state of physical robustness that a predator would
be discouraged from giving chase, saving all a useless waste of energy.
Once however a pack of wild dogs was observed to almost take down a
stotting gazelle since it was basically bounding in place rather than
putting distance between it and the dogs. But the most interesting
question is; if gazelles stot to discourage being chased, why do dogs




teaches that nature conserves energy, it can never be destroyed.
Biology similarly teaches that successful adaptations are likewise
conserved as they tend to radiate throughout a genome and evolve into
further functionality. I would take the principle of conservation one
step further, just like energy, information is never destroyed, it is
always conserved, and a case in point is the dog stot. 

of the dogs of my children’s childhood years, was "Barley," the worlds’
cutest tricolor Corgi. Barley was the only dog welcome in the garden as
he could meander amongst the flowers and sit slumped onto the side of
his little tush without bending a stem or crinkling a petal. He was a
comedic genius, a talent amplified by the inventive games mutually
arrived at with my children, such as
snatch-the-scrunchie-off-the-pony-tail game. But we would often say
"poor Barley" because everything about him was a study in self-defeating
contradictions. He had a big head with German Shepherd chiseled
features but then his ears were so large that instead of looking sharp
and alert when he cocked his head, he looked like an antennae array
swiveling across the horizon. He had a powerful build, but it was atop
stubby little bowed legs on an impossibly long torso so that his front
and hind ends had separate agendas. Going down the steep set of stairs
from his perch at the top of the landing, was a controlled crash. He
sounded like a runaway slinky as his front end raced to get to the
ground floor before his accelerating rear end overtook him. Fortunately
Barley knew his limits so when he saw a dangerous dog on the property,
of which there were many given the nature of my work, his hackles would
raise and he’d approach with a distinctive bounding stomp going more up
and down and bounding in place rather than actually covering any ground.
In other words, he was attracted to this dog, as he was with all dogs,
but he could divine at a distance that this dog was too charged to
safely make contact. Was Barley exhibiting his robustness, or was he
dissipating the energy of attraction through a subsidiary avenue, i.e.
emotion being channeled from his jaws to his fore limbs?  

other words dogs stot for the same reason that gazelles stot, because
they are attracted to something, but feel insecure about making contact.
They release this tension by hitting the ground primarily with their
fore limbs, and this reduces their internal emotional charge. (This is
also why horses stomp the ground when agitated.) It’s an indirect manner
of making contact with an object of attraction. 

returns me to the matter of conservation. There were other occasions
when Barley’s manner of locomotion made him look exactly like a bunny
rabbit with his bouncy rear end trying to keep up with his stubby front
end. So while Barley was a humorous study in contrasts, he was
broadcasting not genetic fitness, but a fundamental principle of the
conservation of information in genes. The prey remains within the
predator. Carnivores of course evolved from herbivores and so the
familiar maxim that you-are-what-you-eat can be tweaked into
you-eat-what-you-are. Things are not the way they seem as everything in
nature reflects something else.