TADPOLE, TROUT OR TUNA: THE EQUIVALENCE OF ANIMAL AND HUMAN AQUATIC UNDULATORY LOCOMOTION.

  • Chris Connaboy
  • Simon Coleman
  • Carla McCabe
  • Roozbeh Naemi
  • Stelios Psycharakis
  • Ross Sanders
Keywords: swimming, hydrodynamics, inertial recoil

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to examine the kinematics of human undulatory underwater swimming and compare the principle components of the propulsive waveform to those generated in the various modes of animal undulatory locomotion. Results indicated a similarity to a sub-carangiform mode of locomotion, with minimal undulation in the anterior aspects of the body and less than one wavelength present on the swimming body. A sub-cariangiform mode of locomotion suggests that swimmers’ arms are acting as inertial dampers, reducing dorso-ventral movements (pitch) in the anterior aspects of the body, and thereby minimising form drag and allowing a more efficient transfer of the propulsive wave along the caudal aspects of the swimmer.
Published
2007-12-10