Nov 7, 2018

Propulsive design principles in a multi-jet siphonophore

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Kelly R SutherlandBrad J Gemmell


Coordination of multiple propulsors can provide performance benefits in swimming organisms. Siphonophores are marine colonial organisms that orchestrate the motion of multiple swimming zooids for effective swimming. However, the kinematics at the level of individual swimming zooids (nectophores) have not been examined in detail. We used high speed, high resolution microvideography and particle image velocimetry (PIV) of the physonect siphonophore, Nanomia bijuga , to study the motion of the nectophores and the associated fluid motion during jetting and refilling. The integration of nectophore and velum kinematics allow for a high-speed (maximum ~1 m s-1), narrow (1-2 mm) jet and rapid refill as well as a 1:1 ratio of jetting to refill time. Overall swimming performance is enhanced by velocity gradients produced in the nectophore during refill, which lead to a high pressure region that produces forward thrust. Generating thrust during both the jet and refill phases augments the distance travelled by 17% over theoretical animals, which generate thrust only during the jet phase. The details of velum kinematics and associated fluid mechanics elucidate how siphonophores effectively navigate three-dimensional space and could be appli...Continue Reading

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Mentioned in this Paper

Parainfluenza Virus 3, Human
Nanomia bijuga
Colony (Cells or Organisms)

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