Skip to main content Accessibility help
×
Home
Hostname: page-component-dc8c957cd-6mxsq Total loading time: 0.187 Render date: 2022-01-27T21:15:22.393Z Has data issue: true Feature Flags: { "shouldUseShareProductTool": true, "shouldUseHypothesis": true, "isUnsiloEnabled": true, "metricsAbstractViews": false, "figures": true, "newCiteModal": false, "newCitedByModal": true, "newEcommerce": true, "newUsageEvents": true }

Introduction

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  05 March 2012

Quentin Bone
Affiliation:
Marine Biological Association
Linda Maddock
Affiliation:
Marine Biological Association
Get access

Summary

Aquatic organisms swim in a variety of ways, from jet propulsion to ciliary action; they swim at a wide range of speeds and span a vast size range, from bacteria and protists, to the largest whales. In consequence of the enormous size and speed range of swimming organisms, they operate under notably different Reynolds number regimes. This has led to very different selection pressures in different forms, and one of the fascinating aspects of aquatic locomotion is the remarkable sets of adaptations that have been evolved for different purposes. These are seen not only in external form, as in the body shapes of fish, penguins, and fossil marine reptiles, but also in the way the locomotor muscles are designed and controlled, and in the structure of the skeleton.

The different chapters consider some of the problems faced by swimmers from several points in the vast array of aquatic organisms, from the biological and physical effects determining the patterns of bacterial populations, to the remarkable special adaptations of penguins for underwater ‘flight’. All organisms are constructed from materials that are denser than the water in which they swim. To avoid sinking either they must use buoyancy strategies, such as changing in shape, as do some marine protists, or storing light materials (like fat or gas) to provide static lift, or they must generate dynamic lift, as ichthyosaurs apparently did. Most fishes and all aquatic tetrapods have gas-filled swim bladders or lungs and hence are close to neutral buoyancy (at least at a particular depth). Some tetrapods, however, like penguins and plesiosaurs, can apparently achieve neutral buoyancy only by swallowing stones as ballast.

Type
Chapter
Information
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
Print publication year: 1994

Access options

Get access to the full version of this content by using one of the access options below. (Log in options will check for institutional or personal access. Content may require purchase if you do not have access.)
4
Cited by

Send book to Kindle

To send this book to your Kindle, first ensure no-reply@cambridge.org is added to your Approved Personal Document E-mail List under your Personal Document Settings on the Manage Your Content and Devices page of your Amazon account. Then enter the ‘name’ part of your Kindle email address below. Find out more about sending to your Kindle.

Note you can select to send to either the @free.kindle.com or @kindle.com variations. ‘@free.kindle.com’ emails are free but can only be sent to your device when it is connected to wi-fi. ‘@kindle.com’ emails can be delivered even when you are not connected to wi-fi, but note that service fees apply.

Find out more about the Kindle Personal Document Service.

Available formats
×

Send book to Dropbox

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Dropbox.

Available formats
×

Send book to Google Drive

To send content items to your account, please confirm that you agree to abide by our usage policies. If this is the first time you use this feature, you will be asked to authorise Cambridge Core to connect with your account. Find out more about sending content to Google Drive.

Available formats
×