Project Title

The contribution of the body, pectoral fins, and the ribbon fin to turning maneuvers of a gymnotiform swimmer

Academic department under which the project should be listed

CSM - Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

Faculty Sponsor Name

Chris Sanford

No human subjects used

Abstract (300 words maximum)

Turning maneuvers are ecologically important for fish as they are used for prey capture, predator avoidance, and navigating structurally and hydrodynamically complex environments. Most studies on maneuverability in fishes have shown that turning is achieved through body bending and the use of the pectoral fins. Few studies have investigated the drivers of turning in fishes with atypical morphologies such as the ribbon fin. To understand the drivers of turning in a fish with a ribbon fin, we filmed the weakly-electric Black ghost knifefish (Apteronotus albifrons) using high speed videography. We quantified the contribution of the body, pectoral fins, and ribbon fin during steady swimming, small turns, and large turns using 3D kinematic analysis. We find that most kinematic variables for the ribbon fin and the pectoral fins contribute to small and large turning maneuvers. To visualize the fluid perturbations caused by the ribbon fin during turning maneuvers, we used particle image velocimetry (DPIV). During turning, strong vortices form towards the middle of the ribbon fin. The current results suggest this control surface is essential for turning maneuvers in A. albifrons, thus highlighting the importance of investigating turning in fishes with atypical control surfaces.

Project Type

Event

This document is currently not available here.

Share

COinS
 

The contribution of the body, pectoral fins, and the ribbon fin to turning maneuvers of a gymnotiform swimmer

Turning maneuvers are ecologically important for fish as they are used for prey capture, predator avoidance, and navigating structurally and hydrodynamically complex environments. Most studies on maneuverability in fishes have shown that turning is achieved through body bending and the use of the pectoral fins. Few studies have investigated the drivers of turning in fishes with atypical morphologies such as the ribbon fin. To understand the drivers of turning in a fish with a ribbon fin, we filmed the weakly-electric Black ghost knifefish (Apteronotus albifrons) using high speed videography. We quantified the contribution of the body, pectoral fins, and ribbon fin during steady swimming, small turns, and large turns using 3D kinematic analysis. We find that most kinematic variables for the ribbon fin and the pectoral fins contribute to small and large turning maneuvers. To visualize the fluid perturbations caused by the ribbon fin during turning maneuvers, we used particle image velocimetry (DPIV). During turning, strong vortices form towards the middle of the ribbon fin. The current results suggest this control surface is essential for turning maneuvers in A. albifrons, thus highlighting the importance of investigating turning in fishes with atypical control surfaces.