The locomotion of an animal not only derives from the dynamics of its body but also is a result of the dynamics of its environment. In accordance with biomechanical principles, various locomotion patterns of animals--e.g. flying, swimming or running--emerge from the interaction between their active muscle-actuated body movements and the reactive physical environment--air, water, or terra firma. For example, birds flap their wings inducing aerodynamic forces, which in turn enable them to fly through the air. They cannot fly in a vacuum. Therefore, in addition to modeling the physics of animal bodies, we need also to model the physics of their environments.
|Xiaoyuan Tu||January 1996|