Supplementary material from "Hydrodynamic advantages of swimming by salp chains"

Posted on 17.07.2017 - 11:01
Salps are marine invertebrates comprising multiple jet-propelled swimming units during a colonial life-cycle stage. Using theory, we show that asynchronous swimming with multiple pulsed jets yields substantial hydrodynamic benefit due to the production of steady swimming velocities, which limit drag. Laboratory comparisons of swimming kinematics of aggregate salps (Salpa fusiformis and Weelia cylindrica) using high-speed video supported that asynchronous swimming by aggregates results in a smoother velocity profile and showed that this smoother velocity profile is the result of uncoordinated, asynchronous swimming by individual zooids. In situ flow visualizations of W. cylindrica swimming wakes revealed that another consequence of asynchronous swimming is that fluid interactions between jet wakes are minimized. Although the advantages of multi-jet propulsion have been mentioned elsewhere, this is the first time that the theory has been quantified and the role of asynchronous swimming verified using experimental data from the lab and the field.


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R. Sutherland, Kelly; Weihs, Daniel (2017): Supplementary material from "Hydrodynamic advantages of swimming by salp chains". The Royal Society. Collection.


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