I was working on a chimerical creature with the back legs of a goat and a ape’s upper body when the question occurred to me-how would this beast even walk? I tried looking to mythology for the answer.

Satyrs have a similar body configuration, being unguligrade bipeds with hands, but they are bipedal while my creature is quadrupedal. The classical chimera is a quadruped with two different limb configurations, like the aforementioned creature, but both sets of its limbs come from completely quadrupedal animals, while the creature’s forelimbs are those of a ape’s, which are mostly facultative bipeds.

So the question-how could this creature move about?

  • 3
    $\begingroup$ Please clarify your specific problem or provide additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it's hard to tell exactly what you're asking. $\endgroup$
    – Community Bot
    Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 7:26

3 Answers 3


Apes - other than humans and gibbons - are quadrupeds. Most apes walk by knuckle-walking or fist walking. So, it is no stretch of the imagination that this creature could walk on knuckles and hooves, and still have its hands available for manipulatory tasks when not needing to move quickly.


Nearly every ornithopod dinosaur did it. They are the big herbivores that walked in herds, could alternate into quadrupede and bipedal stances, and included the duck-billed dinosaurs. They had hands, and the nails on their fingers were mostly hooves, but some had opposable fingers as well. As an example, I'll cite the iguanodon:

The skeleton of an iguanodon, on its quadrupede stance.

Source for the image: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Iguanodon

Iguanodon were bulky herbivores that could shift from bipedality to quadrupedality (...) The arms of I. bernissartensis were long (up to 75% the length of the legs) and robust, with rather inflexible hands built so that the three central fingers could bear weight. The thumbs were conical spikes that stuck out away from the three main digits (...) The little finger was elongated and dextrous, and could have been used to manipulate objects.

Your chimera might either have hoof like nails in some fingers, or have thick fingertips that are able to bear weight. It would still allow it to use its hands for manipulation.


Your creature walks on its elbows.



Like Pt here! The elbows are fortified with hooves. Maybe the hooves are a fortified dewclaw like structure more proximal? If a horse hoof is the nail of a single toe that should be dewable with a dewclaw. The knees too which makes sense. The distal upper extremities are the paws, for pawing. Maybe distal lower extremities are paws too?

elbows and knees

How cool is this virtual mannikin? The right answer: very!

Here is where I found it. https://setpose.com/

  • 4
    $\begingroup$ I'm pretty sure pteranodons still walk on their hands, and what comes after is actually an elongated pinky finger (as with modern bats). You can see the elbows in the pteranodon halfway down its "arm." $\endgroup$
    – Drake P
    Commented Nov 19, 2022 at 20:25
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm absolutely positive that pterosaurs walked on their hands. Their wing membrane was supported by the elongated bones of their outermost digit. $\endgroup$
    – Monty Wild
    Commented Nov 20, 2022 at 11:29
  • $\begingroup$ @DrakeP Where they're supposed to be. $\endgroup$
    – Joachim
    Commented Nov 21, 2022 at 11:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .