I have an idea for a story where humans on a low g planet with a dense atmosphere wear artificial wings to fly. I know that muscles they would use to produce a flight stroke would be in the upper body, specifically in the chest, arms, shoulders, and back, but what individual muscles would make the motion?
As is the case with birds and bats, the Pectoralis Major and Pectoralis Minor muscles would be responsible for the downward stroke of the arms/wings.
Thi Infraspinatus is responsible for the upward stroke of the arms/wings, and the Rhomboid Major and Rhomboid Minor are responsible for pulling the scapula toward the spine.
The Deltoids would be responsible for raising the arms out to the sides of the body, but would not provide motive force.
All mammals and even birds share a common build.
They all have a spine with a rib cage, 2 anterior limbs and 2 posterior limbs. In some mammals the limbs changed to act as a wing or a fluke, but the basic blueprint is still the same.
The same applies to muscles. Depending on the lifestyle and movements of the animal, some muscles are bigger and stronger than in other species, but there are no additional muscles in places where other species don't have any.
So you can compare the muscles that birds and bats use to fly.
- If your humans had wings shaped like bird wings (with uplift and gliding capabilities) they would mainly use the muscles in their chests.
- If your humans had wings shaped like bat wings (thin membrane between flexible fingers) they would use the muscles in their chests and back.
Because the actual muscles depend on the form of your wings, I won't give you a list of individual muscle names. You have to do that research on your own.
But keep in mind that the bones of birds are much more lightweight than those of humans and the wingspan is much longer than the body length in birds and bats. So building individual wings like Ikarus probably won't work, even in an environment with less gravity. The wings probably need to be connected by springs or some other features that conserve energy and make it easier for humans to stay in the air.
Its a big list.
- Pectoralis major&minor.
- Teres major&minor
- Levator scapulae
- Triceps brachii caput longum
- Biceps brachii (breve and longum)
- Rhomboideus minor&major
These are all directly going to be doing the wing movements (might have missed a few Sobotta isnt super easy to read at times) but the list is going to triple when you add indirect muscles like the serratus anterior that will stabilize the chest and prevent the direct muscles to pull bones and ligaments out of alignment.