How Does a Highly Efficient Swimmer Move? Jellyfish, Lamprey Study Reveals Surprising Forces At Play

November 6th, 2015 @   - 

Millions of years ago, even before plate tectonics had nudged the continents into their current locations, jellyfish were already moving through the oceans using the same pulsing motions we observe today.

Now through clever experiments and insightful math, an interdisciplinary research team has revealed a startling truth about how jellyfish and lampreys, another ancient species that undulate like an eels, move through the water with unmatched efficiency.

This new understanding of motion in fluids appears in a Nature Communications article this week by engineer John Dabiri of Stanford University and three biologists who conduct collaborative research at the Marine Biological Laboratory (MBL) in Woods Hole, Mass.: Brad Gemmell of the University of South Florida, Sean Colin of Roger Williams University, and John Costello of Providence College. The biologists are adjunct scientists in the MBL’s Bell Center for Regenerative Biology and Tissue Engineering. Read more…

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