New research led by the University of South Florida has uncovered one of the reasons jellyfish have come to be known as the “world’s most efficient swimmer.” Brad Gemmell, associate professor of integrative biology, found jellyfish produce two vortex rings, which are donut-shaped bodies of fluid underneath their translucent bodies, that spin in opposite directions. They appear as jellyfish squeeze and reopen throughout each swim cycle, providing a “ground effect” force as if they were to be pushing off the seafloor.
“The fact that these simple animals have figured out how to achieve a ‘ground effect’ type boost in open water, away from any solid surfaces, has the potential to open up a range of new possibilities for engineered vehicles to take advantage of this phenomenon,” Gemmell said.
In the study published in Proceedings of the Royal Society B, Gemmell captured the motion by recording the movements of eight jellyfish swimming in a glass filming vessel using a high-speed digital camera at 1,000 frames per second. He and his colleagues witnessed jellyfish that were in motion had a 41% increase in maximum swimming speed and a 61% increase in cumulative distance traveled per swimming cycle compared to those starting from rest.
Unlike locomotion by propellers, jellyfish do not produce cavitation bubbles and are silent, allowing them to move quietly through the water. The high efficiency of swimming also helps them store energy for growth and reproduction. Several research groups use jellyfish as a model for developing underwater vehicles that can be equipped with sensors that monitor the ocean without disruption. These new findings may enhance development of these technologies and further understanding of the ocean.
Materials provided by University of South Florida (USF Innovation). Note: Content may be edited for style and length.
HI! I AM DAVID BRAYZ!
I am a highly-skilled IT Specialist with over 12 years of experience in Web Design, Graphic Design, Web Blogging & ITL Management.
Send your news and stories to us firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com and WhatsApp: +447747873668.
Before you go...
Democratic norms are being stress-tested all over the world, and the past few years have thrown up all kinds of questions we didn't know needed clarifying – how long is too long for a parliamentary prorogation? How far should politicians be allowed to intervene in court cases? To monitor these issues as closely as we have in the past we need your support, so please consider donating to The Climax News Room.