Navigation Links
Research finds water movements can shape fish evolution
Date:2/4/2010

Researchers from the University of Minnesota have found that the hydrodynamic environment of fish can shape their physical form and swimming style. The research, available on the Journal of Experimental Biology Web site, was sponsored by the National Science Foundation's National Center for Earth-surface Dynamics.

Catch a glimpse of a fish's body shape, and you can often guess how speedy it is. Tuna and mackerel look as if they should outpace frilly reef fish and eels. But how have all of these diverse body shapes evolved? Have fish bodies been shaped by the hydrodynamics of their environment or did they evolve for other reasons?

Turning to computational fish for answers, professor Fotis Sotiropoulos, along with postdoctoral researcher Iman Borazjani, from the university's St. Anthony Falls Laboratory decided to race hybrid and realistic fish in a massive parallel computer cluster to find out what influence the aquatic environment has had on fish shapes and swimming techniques.

But building the computational fish was far from straightforward. "We started this work over five years ago," says Sotiropoulos. "It was a challenge because we had never simulated anything living before."

Borazjani explains that the hydrodynamic forces exerted on swimmers vary enormously depending on their size and speed. Knowing that mackerel and eels swimming in water generate and thus experience different hydrodynamic environments, the duo simulated these different environments by varying tail beat frequencies and fluid viscosity (syrupiness).

Building two computational mackerels (one that beat its tail like a mackerel and a second that wriggled like an eel) and two eels (one that wriggled and another that beat its tail like a mackerel), the engineers set the fish racing from standing starts and noted how they performed.

The results showed clearly that all fish swam more efficiently if they had the body form or swimming style appropriate to the speeds at which they swam. For example, a lamprey that needed to swim faster could gain efficiencywhich for a real fish would mean tiring less quicklyif it changed its shape or swimming style to mimic a mackerel. And a mackerel that had to move slowly would be more efficient if it could change shape or swimming style to mimic a lamprey. This is evidence that a fish's optimal range of swimming speeds generates hydrodynamic forces that influence the shape and swimming style it will evolve.

"From these experiments, we can deduce that real mackerel and eel's swimming styles are perfectly adapted to the hydrodynamic environments that they inhabit," says Sotiropoulos. The method could be adapted to study how a fluid environment molds the evolution of other organisms and to design robots that would swim at different speeds or in water of different viscosities, the researchers say.


'/>"/>

Contact: Ryan Mathre
ryanmathre@umn.edu
612-625-0552
University of Minnesota
Source:Eurekalert

Related biology news :

1. Research shows skeleton to be endocrine organ
2. Newly created cancer stem cells could aid breast cancer research
3. Dominant cholesterol-metabolism ideas challenged by new research
4. Researchers identify proteins involved in new neurodegenerative syndrome
5. Texas researchers and educators head for Antarctica
6. MGH researchers describe new way to identify, evolve novel enzymes
7. University of Pennsylvania researchers develop formula to gauge risk of disease clusters
8. University of Oregon researcher finds that on waters surface, nitric acid is not so tough
9. U of MN researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
10. U of Minnesota researchers discover noninvasive diagnostic tool for brain diseases
11. Story ideas from the Journal of Lipid Research
Post Your Comments:
*Name:
*Comment:
*Email:
(Date:3/24/2017)... 2017 Research and Markets has announced the ... & Trends - Industry Forecast to 2025" report to their ... The Global ... CAGR of around 15.1% over the next decade to reach approximately ... the market estimates and forecasts for all the given segments on ...
(Date:3/22/2017)... , March 21, 2017 Vigilant Solutions ... serving law enforcement agencies, announced today the appointment of ... director of public safety business development. Mr. ... enforcement experience, including a focus on the aviation transportation ... most recent position, Mr. Sheridan served as the Aviation ...
(Date:3/9/2017)... Australia , March 9, 2017 /PRNewswire/ ... at the prestigious World Lung Imaging Workshop at the ... Fouras , was invited to deliver the latest data ... This globally recognised event brings together leaders at the ... latest developments in lung imaging. "The ...
Breaking Biology News(10 mins):
(Date:3/27/2017)... ... March 27, 2017 , ... PMG Research ... (CTC) conference presented by The Conference Forum in Boston on April 3-4, 2017. ... to drive improved clinical trial outcomes and bring them closer to the patient. Clinical ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017  Trovagene, Inc. (NASDAQ: TROV), a precision medicine ... Bill Welch , will be presenting at this ... AM EDT at the Essex House in ... Scientific Officer, Mark Erlander , Ph.D., will also ... The presentation will be webcast live at ...
(Date:3/27/2017)... 2017 Neurotrope, Inc. (OTCQB: NTRP),  a ... diseases, including Alzheimer,s disease, today announced that it ... the Company,s common stock on the NASDAQ Capital ... Market, a unit of the NASDAQ OMX Group. ... Opening Bell at the NASDAQ MarketSite in Times ...
(Date:3/24/2017)... and ROCKVILLE, Md. , March 24, ... Maxwell Biotech Venture Fund (MBVF), today announced positive results ... to the standard drug therapy regimen in patients with ... molecule drug discovered by scientists at Sequella, Inc. ( ... of Health. A total of 140 ...
Breaking Biology Technology: