Propulsion in cubomedusae: mechanisms and utility

Collin, Sean, Costello, John H., Katija, Kakani, Seymour, Jamie, and Kiefer, Kristen (2013) Propulsion in cubomedusae: mechanisms and utility. PLoS ONE, 8 (2). e56393. pp. 1-10.

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Abstract

Evolutionary constraints which limit the forces produced during bell contractions of medusae affect the overall medusan morphospace such that jet propulsion is limited to only small medusae. Cubomedusae, which often possess large prolate bells and are thought to swim via jet propulsion, appear to violate the theoretical constraints which determine the medusan morphospace. To examine propulsion by cubomedusae, we quantified size related changes in wake dynamics, bell shape, swimming and turning kinematics of two species of cubomedusae, Chironex fleckeri and Chiropsella bronzie. During growth, these cubomedusae transitioned from using jet propulsion at smaller sizes to a rowing-jetting hybrid mode of propulsion at larger sizes. Simple modifications in the flexibility and kinematics of their velarium appeared to be sufficient to alter their propulsive mode. Turning occurs during both bell contraction and expansion and is achieved by generating asymmetric vortex structures during both stages of the swimming cycle. Swimming characteristics were considered in conjunction with the unique foraging strategy used by cubomedusae.

Item ID: 29096
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1932-6203
Keywords: EMTREE medical terms: article; body movement; Chironex fleckeri; Chiropsella bronzie; controlled study; Cubomedusae; effect size; flow rate; foraging; habitat; hydrodynamics; kinematics; medusa; molecular evolution; morphology; nonhuman; swimming; viscosity
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Copyright: © 2013 Colin 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: ONR MURI award, National Science Foundation, Roger Williams University Foundation
Projects and Grants: ONR MURI award (N000140810654), National Science Foundation grant (OCE 0623508)
Date Deposited: 25 Mar 2014 07:07
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%
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