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December 17, 2007
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Centaur Anatomy _ Skeleton by JEDI-Sheng Centaur Anatomy _ Skeleton by JEDI-Sheng
Yes. I know I'm weird.

I was watching fantasia a few months ago with Lenny and Van, and I decided that I wanted to work on centaurs...
Centaurs with real, working anatomy.

So I sat down and did a quick sketch to get an idea of the proportions and then did the skeletal layout.

Things to note:
If you look at Greek/Roman sculpture and art, centaurs are not as huge as mots people make them, and I tried to stay true to that, instead of more current, popular, media. thus, A centaur stands at about 12 hands at the whithers, about the same as a Welsh Pony.

The human torso segment of the centaur masses about the same as a horses head and neck, perhaps a bit heavier, but not that much

To counter the weight of the upper body and provide tighter manuvering and the like, the hind quarters are based on a quarter horse, raised and heavily muscled.

No, you're not seeing things, there are THREE toes on the ground, not one. I wanted some slight differance with a true horse and I wanted them to not have the exposed frog that a horse does.

The head is not in proportion for 'just slap a human torso on a horses body'. If you notice the headis probably nearly twice the size a humans would be. They've got a bigger body, so they also have a bigger brain to body ratio.

The jaw and nose are also differant tehn a humans, giving them a 'roman' nose like apperance and a HEAVY jaw.

There's quite a bit of space inbetween teh vertibre of the 'human' lower back area, that is to allow maximum flexibility. A centaur can lean down and touch his/her front toes; or twist around and reach tehir haunches/tail.

The ribs continue up from the horse ribs. Tehre are NOT two seperate rib cages, instead three of the ribs in front of the front hooves create a basic ';pelvis', then are almost completly lost in the waist section to allow manuvering sace, tehn form a rib cage like that of a human for the foremost 'sixth limbs/arms' to attach to.

...Oh and the arms are slightly longer in proportion then a humans as well.
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:iconninjacat4:
NinjaCat4 Featured By Owner Jan 4, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
This is very useful for a race in my video game I am working on - numerous races actually. One question that I anxious to know...how do they run and how fast? Being top heavy, I imagine much slower but Idk if they run with human torso leaning forwards or backwards er what. But yeah, I like creatures...and I like this lol 
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:iconjedi-sheng:
JEDI-Sheng Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014
Well they certainly wouldn't be thoroughbreds.  Their legs-to-body ratio are closer to a Morgan Horse or Welsh Pony...  They're also not as BIG as racing horses and lack the range of motion in the forelegs to gain the infamous stride angle of the true racers (Secretariat has the widest known stride angle at 110 degrees, but most thoroughbreds have a 85-90 degree stride angle).
I gave them large hindquarters so, like a quarter hrose they can get up to speed FAST and likely could hit high speeds in a sprint (call it 40mph in a sprint) with a slower long distance running speed (30-35mph). 
Centaurs have a lot of mythology about covering long distances and running without end so my guess is they've got several gaits.
Walk(1-3mph), Running Walk(8-10mph), trot(5-8mph), lope(a sort of slow canter, used for distance running 10-25mph), canter(15-30mph), gallop (20-35mph) and the sprint (35-40mph and they go from 0 to 40 in a few strides)

My general basis for how they look when they run is based off a quarter horse, especially when they are pulling tight maneuvers around obstacles.   The torso I see usually being held vertical or leaning back towards the spine in most gaits - it's heavier than a horses neck and skull and while I have strong muscles holding it up the natural curve of the neck/spine is highly curved and wouldn't stretch out as easily as a true horses neck...

Best visual reference I can think of would actually be the centaur/greek mythos section of the first Fantasia film, especially the female centaurs (the males are a little too heavy in the human torso). 

I'm glad this was of aid to you and that you like it, I had a lot of fun coming up with it^^  My apologies for taking so long to reply, life has been very busy for me.
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:iconninjacat4:
NinjaCat4 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
What's funny is that I saw tidbits of the chronicles of narnia. Their upper torsos are straight for a trot I'm guessing and forward for a sprint. Lol your thoughts on that? The video I watched was beauty of centuars on YouTube. You know more of horses than me xD that's OK, you answered. That's what's important to me :)
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:iconjedi-sheng:
JEDI-Sheng Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014
I'm hardly an expert on horses, I only know the basics really.
That is true about the Narnia centaurs (although WOW were they long in the back for the horse portion).  I think it might simply be a case of artistic interpretation.  How do YOU see them holding the body as they move?  Do you feel that the spine/muscles are up to holding the weight of the torso, head and arms in a forward position?  Do you feel that having it held upright or tilted back shifts the center of balance badly?  It is also a case of what looks good in a visual medium ^_^
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:iconninjacat4:
NinjaCat4 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
I'm not sure. It seems awkward with their upper torso forward but yet it makes sense when you look at how we humans run. I think upright in a canter and forward in sprint makes sense. Especially when i see all my taurs run with weapons
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:iconjedi-sheng:
JEDI-Sheng Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014
Mix and match works then ^_^
What sort of weapons do you see them using?
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:iconninjacat4:
NinjaCat4 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2014  Hobbyist Writer
It depends on the taur and the creator. ive seen general centaurs with staffs and bows. my taurs that arent centaur vary depending on species
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:iconjedi-sheng:
JEDI-Sheng Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2014
*nods* Makes sense^_^
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(1 Reply)
:iconcentaur71:
Centaur71 Featured By Owner Jan 10, 2013
eeyup, that's pretty much how we Centaurs are built...
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:iconpetrino:
petrino Featured By Owner Dec 31, 2011
i like it, except for the ribcage, i feel it should be just one continuous one, it dont need the "bridged" space between human and horse.
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