cannon bone

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  • noun

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greatly developed metatarsal or metacarpal bone in the shank or cannon part of the leg in hoofed mammals

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In their study, animals with a calmer temperament had cannon bones that were 5 percent wider and 9 percent thicker than high-strung animals with thinner bones.
"Our study shows a clear statistical difference in the behavior of steers and heifers with thicker and wider bones versus steers and heifers with narrow, thinner bones," says Lanier, who measured the cannon bones of about 200 cattle and used a scoring system to compare them with the animal's behavior while being handled.