Hybrid Metachronal Rowing Augments Swimming Speed and Acceleration via Increased Stroke Amplitude.
Numerous aquatic invertebrates use drag-based metachronal rowing for swimming, in which closely spaced appendages are oscillated starting from the posterior, with each appendage phase-shifted in time relative to its neighbor. Continuously swimming species such as Antarctic krill generally use "pure metachronal rowing" consisting of a metachronal power stroke and a metachronal recovery stroke, while burst swimming species such as many copepods and mantis shrimp typically use "hybrid metachronal rowing" consisting of a metachronal power stroke followed by a synchronous or nearly synchronous recovery stroke. Burst swimming organisms need to rapidly accelerate in order to capture prey and/or escape predation, and it is unknown whether hybrid metachronal rowing can augment acceleration and swimming speed compared to pure metachronal rowing. Simulations of rigid paddles undergoing simple harmonic motion showed that collisions between adjacent paddles restrict the maximum stroke amplitude for pure metachronal rowing. Hybrid metachronal rowing similar to that observed in mantis shrimp (Neogonodactylus bredini) permits oscillation at larger stroke amplitude while avoiding these collisions. We comparatively examined swimming speed, acceleration, and wake structure of pure and hybrid metachronal rowing strategies by using a self-propelling robot. Both swimming speed and peak acceleration of the robot increased with increasing stroke amplitude. Hybrid metachronal rowing permitted operation at larger stroke amplitude without collision of adjacent paddles on the robot, augmenting swimming speed and peak acceleration. Hybrid metachronal rowing generated a dispersed wake unlike narrower, downward-angled jets generated by pure metachronal rowing. Our findings suggest that burst swimming animals with small appendage spacing, such as copepods and mantis shrimp, can use hybrid metachronal rowing to generate large accelerations via increasing stroke amplitude without concern of appendage collision.
Ford, MP; Ray, WJ; DiLuca, EM; Patek, SN; Santhanakrishnan, A
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