So my conworld has less gravity than earth: I'm not sure, but I figure like 0.5 to 0.6 G and a moderately thicker atmosphere. This means that everything weights less. it means that inertia and drag are comparatively more important than weight. It also means that flying animals can be much larger, and that, for instance, cavalry tactics are much different, since a horse can carry effectively twice the weight and still be able to charge. I imagine trees would be able to grow taller, since circulation is made easier by lower gravity. Most locomotion methods are much easier, so animals can be bigger without paying so much energy for locomotion.
However, gravity is such a base parameter in our world that I can't possibly imagine every consequence a lower gravity might have, especially regarding animals: would animals be taller? less muscular since they don't need to deal with lifting their own weight? somewhere I read that lower gees might produce more slender things, but I dunno, being bigger and having longer limbs creates the problem of flexion and inertia: even without gravity, a heavy thing has momentum, and the longer and less muscular the limbs, the less able it is to take force.
Jumping becomes a much better way of locomotion, but how better? Here's when not paying attention to physics in school, mainly cinematics, is definitely taking its toll... this whole thing is unintuitive to me: If I weighted half what I weight [cause gravity is halved], how far would I be able to jump? twice as high? would I be able to, say, run faster? how do less weight but same inertia conjugate, is what I wonder.
Okay, lemme wrap this up: I know this has been a messy exposition, but the problem might be interesting to some of you. There's two questions here, it seems.
- how would 0.5G affect zoology, as in how would earth animals adapt to lower gravity?
- how would 0.5G affect human biomechanics? as in jumping, running, and stuff.
I guess the underlying question is about low gravity and locomotion. what's up with that? any ideas?
EDIT: as a note, the planet was terraformed around half a million years ago, filled with all kinds of earth animals, save a few things like dogs and wolves and mosquitoes, and introducing pleistocene megafauna and the like. So enough time for a few distinct species to evolve, but most adaptations from these animals to the lower grav are mostly behavioural and anatomical, but minor: say, pretty big eagles, large hares browsing the savanna, something filling the niche of wolves [maybe boars?] and stuff like that. that's why I'm interested in locomotion and the effects on earth animals.
Last edited by Torco on Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.