Next Article in Journal
Design of a Bio-Inspired Anti-Erosion Structure for a Water Hydraulic Valve Core: An Experimental Study
Previous Article in Journal
Application of Finite Element Analysis in Modeling of Bionic Harrowing Discs
Previous Article in Special Issue
Comparing Models of Lateral Station-Keeping for Pitching Hydrofoils
Open AccessArticle

Maneuvering Performance in the Colonial Siphonophore, Nanomia bijuga

1
Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97402, USA
2
Department of Integrative Biology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
3
Whitman Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
4
Marine Biology/Environmental Sciences, Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI 02809, USA
5
Biology Department, Providence College, Providence, RI 02908, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomimetics 2019, 4(3), 62; https://doi.org/10.3390/biomimetics4030062
Received: 17 June 2019 / Revised: 16 August 2019 / Accepted: 20 August 2019 / Published: 5 September 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Fluid Dynamic Interactions in Biological and Bioinspired Propulsion)
The colonial cnidarian, Nanomia bijuga, is highly proficient at moving in three-dimensional space through forward swimming, reverse swimming and turning. We used high speed videography, particle tracking, and particle image velocimetry (PIV) with frame rates up to 6400 s−1 to study the kinematics and fluid mechanics of N. bijuga during turning and reversing. N. bijuga achieved turns with high maneuverability (mean length–specific turning radius, R/L = 0.15 ± 0.10) and agility (mean angular velocity, ω = 104 ± 41 deg. s−1). The maximum angular velocity of N. bijuga, 215 deg. s−1, exceeded that of many vertebrates with more complex body forms and neurocircuitry. Through the combination of rapid nectophore contraction and velum modulation, N. bijuga generated high speed, narrow jets (maximum = 1063 ± 176 mm s−1; 295 nectophore lengths s−1) and thrust vectoring, which enabled high speed reverse swimming (maximum = 134 ± 28 mm s−1; 37 nectophore lengths s−1) that matched previously reported forward swimming speeds. A 1:1 ratio of forward to reverse swimming speed has not been recorded in other swimming organisms. Taken together, the colonial architecture, simple neurocircuitry, and tightly controlled pulsed jets by N. bijuga allow for a diverse repertoire of movements. Considering the further advantages of scalability and redundancy in colonies, N. bijuga is a model system for informing underwater propulsion and navigation of complex environments. View Full-Text
Keywords: turn; reverse; agility; maneuverability; propulsion; Nanomia bijuga turn; reverse; agility; maneuverability; propulsion; Nanomia bijuga
Show Figures

Figure 1

MDPI and ACS Style

Sutherland, K.R.; Gemmell, B.J.; Colin, S.P.; Costello, J.H. Maneuvering Performance in the Colonial Siphonophore, Nanomia bijuga. Biomimetics 2019, 4, 62.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map

1
  • Supplementary File 1:

    ZIP-Document (ZIP, 10469 KB)

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 10.5281/zenodo.3247817
    Link: https://doi.org/10.5281/zenodo.3247817
    Description: High speed videos of turning (S1), reverse swimming (S2), refilling (S3) and velum reorienting (S4) by the siphonophore, Nanomia bijuga.
Back to TopTop