What are the requirements for mass distribution and body positioning that would enable a large creature (say, a panther) to walk on water (and still be able to dive down and swim if it wanted?) This should extend to hunting (chasing fish on the surface and then diving through the water to catch it) to walking to even sleeping on water. The mechanics should be so that there are minimum ripples in the surface of the water, the creature can walk naturally and quietly, and so that the creature can twist itself so it falls into the water. The creature would be held aloft by
- Water tension and mass distribution
- And water magic that would keep the water beneath the paws liquid but tensile, ensuring that the creature could both walk and swim. And it should be able to walk without any technology or foot covering: just on its bare paws/hooves/etc. Update: Thank you for your answers everyone! You were all extremely helpful. I'll use: Big paws, powerful muscles, mass distribution . . . and magic.