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Animal Locomotion$
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Andrew Biewener and Sheila Patek

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780198743156

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780198743156.001.0001

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Movement in Water

Movement in Water

Chapter:
(p.90) Chapter 5 Movement in Water
Source:
Animal Locomotion
Author(s):
Andrew A. Biewener, Shelia N. Patek
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780198743156.003.0005

This chapter examines how the physical properties of water influence and explain the great diversity of swimming performance and mechanisms - from the scale of spermatozoa on up to whales. The key parameters of inertia, viscosity and their manifestation in the critically important Reynolds number are explained and placed in the context of a range of swimming mechanisms, including undulatory movement and fin-based, jet-based, flagellar and ciliary propulsion. The air-water interface also presents an intriguing mechanical challenge for the many organisms that move on top of the water’s surface. The chapter concludes with a brief overview of the burgeoning field of biorobotic swimmers.

Keywords:   thrust, drag, viscosity, Reynolds number, undulatory swimming, caudal fin swimming, jetting, flagella, cilia, surface tension

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