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Integr Comp Biol. 2015 Oct;55(4):753-64. doi: 10.1093/icb/icv053. Epub 2015 May 22.

Stability versus Maneuvering: Challenges for Stability during Swimming by Fishes.

Author information

1
*School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA; Department of Aerospace Engineering and Autonomous Systems Program, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel pwebb@umich.edu.
2
*School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI 48109, USA; Department of Aerospace Engineering and Autonomous Systems Program, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa 32000, Israel.

Abstract

Fishes are well known for their remarkable maneuverability and agility. Less visible is the continuous control of stability essential for the exploitation of the full range of aquatic resources. Perturbations to posture and trajectory arise from hydrostatic and hydrodynamic forces centered in a fish (intrinsic) and from the environment (extrinsic). Hydrostatic instabilities arise from vertical and horizontal separation of the centers of mass (CM) and of buoyancy, thereby creating perturbations in roll, yaw, and pitch, with largely neglected implications for behavioral ecology. Among various forms of hydrodynamic stability, the need for stability in the face of recoil forces from propulsors is close to universal. Destabilizing torques in body-caudal fin swimming is created by inertial and viscous forces through a propulsor beat. The recoil component is reduced, damped, and corrected in various ways, including kinematics, shape of the body and fins, and deployment of the fins. We postulate that control of the angle of orientation, θ, of the trailing edge is especially important in the evolution and lifestyles of fishes, but studies are few. Control of stability and maneuvering are reflected in accelerations around the CM. Accelerations for such motions may give insight into time-behavior patterns in the wild but cannot be used to determine the expenditure of energy by free-swimming fishes.

PMID:
26002562
DOI:
10.1093/icb/icv053
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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