In order to analyze and model the body kinematics used by fish in a wide range of swimming behaviors, we developed a technique to separate the periodic whole-body motions that characterize steady swimming from the secular motions that characterize changes in whole-body shape. We applied this harmonic analysis technique to the study of the forward and backward swimming of lamprey. We found that in order to vary the unsteadiness of swimming, lamprey superimpose periodic and secular components of their body motion, modulate the patterns and magnitudes of those components, and change shape. These kinematic results suggest the following hydromechanical hypothesis: steady swimming is a maneuver that requires active suppression of secular body reconfigurations.
Experiments in Fluids – Springer Journals
Published: Jul 13, 2007
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