MadSci Network: Biophysics

Re: Re: Do slow moving fish swim more efficiently than fish who swim really fast?

Date: Mon Jan 11 04:14:02 2010
Posted By: Sean Hunt,
Area of science: Biophysics
ID: 1261073588.Bp

I do not have a comprehensive answer to your question as the answer is quite complex. There are, broadly, four categories of fish; "Sneakers", such as eels, are capable only of slow speeds but possess some staying power;"Stayers", like grayling, can swim quite fast over long periods;"Sprinters" can generate fast bursts of speed (e.g. pike); and "Crawlers" are sluggish swimmers, although they can accelerate slightly (bream, for example).

In my view, the motor efficiency generally increases with speed at the cost of manoverability. However I will refer you to an article written for Scientific American in 1995 which I hope gives some insight into the relative efficiencies of the movement of different types of fish.

An efficient swimming machine swimming.pdf

Another good article

Review of Fish Swimming Modes for Aquatic Locomotion can be found at _Modes

and if you can access journals then

Swimming efficiency and the influence of morphology on swimming costs in fishes http://www.sp is interesting.

Also have a look at

Optimal Swimming Speed in Head Currents and Effects on Distance Movement of Winter-Migrating Fish http://www.ncb

Sean Hunt Jan 2010

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