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Biomimetics 2016, 1(1), 6;

Mimicking Dolphins to Produce Ring Bubbles in Water

Laboratoire Réactions et Génie des Procédés (CNRS, UMR 7274), Université de Lorraine, 1 rue Grandville, BP 20451, 54001 Nancy Cedex, France
Current address: Solvay, 39500 Tavaux Cedex, France
Current address: Centre for European Studies, Jagiellonian University, 31131 Krakow, Poland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Josep Samitier
Received: 27 May 2016 / Revised: 4 August 2016 / Accepted: 30 August 2016 / Published: 7 September 2016
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Several studies report that dolphins, either captive or wild, can expel air from their blowhole to form ring bubbles. By means of an experimental setup consisting of an orifice coupled to a computer-controlled solenoid valve to simulate the dolphin’s blowhole and a vessel as the lungs, we examined the formation mechanism of a ring bubble under varying experimental conditions. With a better record than the most talented dolphin, we show that two aspects were demonstrated as essential to the successful generation of a ring bubble in water: the valve’s opening duration, and the pressure inside the vessel. The present findings suggest that during ring bubble production, dolphins are likely to anticipate their action by both adjusting a suitable air pressure inside their lungs and controlling their muscular flap for an adequate opening timing of their blowhole. This could provide some evidence in favour of suggested cetaceans’ self-control capacities. View Full-Text
Keywords: ring bubble; generation mechanisms; dolphin; mimicking; hydrodynamics ring bubble; generation mechanisms; dolphin; mimicking; hydrodynamics

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Lesage, P.; Kemiha, M.; Poncin, S.; Midoux, N.; Li, H.Z. Mimicking Dolphins to Produce Ring Bubbles in Water. Biomimetics 2016, 1, 6.

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