Document Detail

Rajiform locomotion: three-dimensional kinematics of the pectoral fin surface during swimming by freshwater stingray Potamotrygon orbignyi.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  22693031     Owner:  NLM     Status:  Publisher    
Rajiform locomotion in fishes is dominated by distinctive undulations of expanded pectoral fins. Unlike other fishes which typically interact with the fluid environment via multiple fins, undulating rays modulate a single control surface, the pectoral disc, to perform pelagic locomotion, maneuvering, and other behaviors. Complex deformations of the broad, flexible pectoral fins occur as the undulating wave varies in three dimensions; pectoral fin kinematics and changes in waveform with swimming speed cannot be fully quantified by two-dimensional analyses of the fin margin. We present the first three-dimensional analysis of undulatory rajiform locomotion in a batoid, the freshwater stingray Potamotrygon orbignyi. Using three cameras (250 fs(-1)), we gathered three-dimensional excursion data from 31 points on the pectoral fin during swimming at 1.5 and 2.5 disc-lengths per second, describing the propulsive wave and contrasting waveforms between swimming speeds. Only a relatively small region of the pectoral fin (~25%) undulates with significant amplitude (>0.5 cm). Stingrays can maintain extreme lateral curvature of the distal fin margin in opposition to induced hydrodynamic loads, 'cupping' the edge of the pectoral fin into the flow, with potential implications for drag reduction. Wave amplitude increases across both anteroposterior and mediolateral fin axes. Along the anteroposterior axis, amplitude increases until the wave reaches mid-disc and then remains constant, in contrast to angulliform patterns of continuous amplitude increase. Increases in swimming speed are driven by both wave frequency and wavespeed, though multivariate analyses reveal a secondary role for amplitude.
Erin L Blevins; George V Lauder
Publication Detail:
Type:  JOURNAL ARTICLE     Date:  2012-6-12
Journal Detail:
Title:  The Journal of experimental biology     Volume:  -     ISSN:  1477-9145     ISO Abbreviation:  -     Publication Date:  2012 Jun 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2012-6-13     Completed Date:  -     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0243705     Medline TA:  J Exp Biol     Country:  -    
Other Details:
Languages:  ENG     Pagination:  -     Citation Subset:  -    
Harvard University.
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