Energetic extremes in aquatic locomotion by coral reef fishes

Fulton, Christopher J., Johansen, Jacob L., and Steffensen, John F. (2013) Energetic extremes in aquatic locomotion by coral reef fishes. PLoS ONE, 8 (1). e54033. pp. 1-6.

[img]
Preview
PDF (Published Version) - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (310kB)
View at Publisher Website: http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0...
 
15
53


Abstract

Underwater locomotion is challenging due to the high friction and resistance imposed on a body moving through water and energy lost in the wake during undulatory propulsion. While aquatic organisms have evolved streamlined shapes to overcome such resistance, underwater locomotion has long been considered a costly exercise. Recent evidence for a range of swimming vertebrates, however, has suggested that flapping paired appendages around a rigid body may be an extremely efficient means of aquatic locomotion. Using intermittent flow-through respirometry, we found exceptional energetic performance in the Bluelined wrasse Stethojulis bandanensis, which maintains tuna-like optimum cruising speeds (up to 1 metre s−1) while using 40% less energy than expected for their body size. Displaying an exceptional aerobic scope (22-fold above resting), streamlined rigid-body posture, and wing-like fins that generate lift-based thrust, S. bandanensis literally flies underwater to efficiently maintain high optimum swimming speeds. Extreme energetic performance may be key to the colonization of highly variable environments, such as the wave-swept habitats where S. bandanensis and other wing-finned species tend to occur. Challenging preconceived notions of how best to power aquatic locomotion, biomimicry of such lift-based fin movements could yield dramatic reductions in the power needed to propel underwater vehicles at high speed.

Item ID: 25485
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Additional Information:

© 2013 Fulton et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

Funders: Australian Research Council (ARC), Danish Agency for Science, Technology and Innovation
Date Deposited: 13 Mar 2013 05:27
FoR Codes: 06 BIOLOGICAL SCIENCES > 0602 Ecology > 060205 Marine and Estuarine Ecology (incl Marine Ichthyology) @ 100%
SEO Codes: 97 EXPANDING KNOWLEDGE > 970106 Expanding Knowledge in the Biological Sciences @ 100%
Downloads: Total: 53
Last 12 Months: 13
More Statistics

Actions (Repository Staff Only)

Item Control Page Item Control Page