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20 Gravitational Zoology:How Animals Use and Cope with GravityRalf H. Anken and Hinrich RahmannSince the dawn of life on Earth some four billions of years ago, gravity has been amore or less stable environmental factor thus influencing the phylogenetic develop-ment of all living organisms. On the one side, gravity represents a factor of physicalrestriction, which compelled the ancestors of all extant living beings to develop basicachievements to counter the gravitational force (e.g., elements of statics like any kindof skeleton - from actin to bone - to overcome gravity enforced size limits or to keepform). On the other side, already early forms of life possibly used gravity as an appro-priate cue for orientation and postural control, since it is continuously present and hasa fixed direction.Due to such a thorough adaptation to the Earthly gravity vector, both orientationbehavior as well as the ontogenetic development of animals is impaired, when theyhave to experience altered gravity ...