Next Article in Journal
Design of a Bio-Inspired Anti-Erosion Structure for a Water Hydraulic Valve Core: An Experimental Study
Next Article in Special Issue
Experimental Study of Body-Fin Interaction and Vortex Dynamics Generated by a Two Degree-Of-Freedom Fish Model
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

Oregon Institute of Marine Biology, University of Oregon, Eugene, OR 97402, USA
Department of Integrative Biology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL 33620, USA
Whitman Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA 02543, USA
Marine Biology/Environmental Sciences, Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI 02809, USA
Biology Department, Providence College, Providence, RI 02908, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Biomimetics 2019, 4(3), 62;
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

  • Supplementary File 1:

    ZIP-Document (ZIP, 10469 KiB)

  • Externally hosted supplementary file 1
    Doi: 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.
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.

AMA Style

Sutherland KR, Gemmell BJ, Colin SP, Costello JH. Maneuvering Performance in the Colonial Siphonophore, Nanomia bijuga. Biomimetics. 2019; 4(3):62.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sutherland, Kelly R.; Gemmell, Brad J.; Colin, Sean P.; Costello, John H. 2019. "Maneuvering Performance in the Colonial Siphonophore, Nanomia bijuga" Biomimetics 4, no. 3: 62.

Find Other Styles
Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Article Access Map by Country/Region

Back to TopTop