I was analyzing a video of a cheetah running (to study quadrupedal locomotion), and noticed something strange. Sometimes it would put its left paw down before its right... but sometimes it would put the right one down first! And vice versa for the hind legs. Is this a common trait for all quadrupeds? Or maybe just cats? Or just cheetahs? Or perhaps this particular cheetah happened to be ambidextrous?
You can check out the video here.
Since the camera was trucking from the side, I suppose it's difficult to tell whether the cheetah was making adjustments to its running path. It may be that to turn a certain direction it would be more efficient to place a certain paw down first. It would be interesting to study it from different angles.
By the way, if all you animators haven't discovered bbcmotiongallery.com yet, I highly recommend it! Set your preferences to Quicktime and you have a library of stock footage you can scroll through frame by frame. Great stuff!