|Table of Contents|

 William S. Vorus and Brandon M. Taravella.Anguilliform Fish Propulsion of Highest Hydrodynamic Efficiency[J].Journal of Marine Science and Application,2011,(2):163-174.
Click and Copy

Anguilliform Fish Propulsion of Highest Hydrodynamic Efficiency


Anguilliform Fish Propulsion of Highest Hydrodynamic Efficiency
William S. Vorus and Brandon M. Taravella
School of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering University of New Orleans, New Orleans, LA 70148, USA
hydrodynamics fish propulsion propulsion efficiency
It is hypothesized that steady anguilliform swimming motion of aquatic animals is purely reactive such that no net vortex wake is left downstream. This is versus carangiform and tunniform swimming of fish, where vortex streams are shed from tail, fins, and body. But there the animal movements are such to produce partial vortex cancellation downstream in maximizing propulsive efficiency. In anguilliform swimming characteristic of the eel family, it is argued that the swimming motions are configured by the animal such that vortex shedding does not occur at all. However, the propulsive thrust in this case is higher order in the motion amplitude, so that relatively large coils are needed to produce relatively small thrust; the speeds of anguilliform swimmers are less than the carangiform and tunniform, which develop first order thrusts via lifting processes. Results of experimentation on live lamprey are compared to theoretical prediction which assumes the no-wake hypothesis. Two-dimensional analysis is first performed to set the concept. This is followed by three-dimensional analysis using slender-body theory. Slender-body theory has been applied by others in studying anguilliform swimming, as it is ideally suited to the geometry of the lamprey and other eel-like animals. The agreement between this new approach based on the hypothesis of wakeless swimming and the experiments is remarkably good in spite of the physical complexities.


Ayers J (1992). Desktop motion video for scientific image analysis. Advanced Imaging, 7, 52-55.
Lighthill MJ (1952). On the squirming motion of nearly spherical deformable bodies through liquids at very small Reynolds number. Commun. Pure Appl. Maths, 5, 109-118.
Lighthill MJ (1960). Note on swimming of slender fish. J. Fluid Mech, 9, 305-317.
Lighthill MJ (1969). Hydrodynamics of aquatic animal propulsion. Ann. Review of Fluid Mech, 1, 413-446.
Lighthill MJ (1970). Aquatic animal propulsion of high hydrodynamic efficiency. J. Fluid Mech, 44, 263-301.
Lighthill MJ (1971). Large amplitude elongated-body theory for fish locomotion. Proc. Royal Soc. Lond, B 179, 125-138.
Miloh T, Galper A (1993). Self-propulsion of general deformable shapes in a perfect fluid. Proc. Royal Soc. Lond, A 442, 273-299.
Saffman PG (1967). The Self-propulsion of a deformable body in a perfect fluid. J. Fluid Mech, 28, 285-289.
Taylor GI (1951). Analysis of the swimming of microscopic organisms. Proc. R. Soc. Lond., A 209, 447-461.
Taylor GI (1952). Analysis of the swimming of long and narrow animals. Proc. R. Soc. Lond, A 214, 158-183.
Vorus WS (1995). The concept of a traveling-wave propulsor for high efficiency and low wake signature. 24th ATTC, College Station , TX.
Vorus WS (1996). A reduced-wake marine propulsor concept, annual report to ONR, Grant No. N00014-96-0124, November.
Vorus WS (2005). Swimming of the semi-infinite strip revisited, J. of Engineering Mathematics, 51, 35-55. Wu TY (1961). Swimming of a waving plate. J. Fluid Mech, 10, 321-344.


Last Update: 2011-05-04