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Corrections to the theory and the optimal line in the swimming diagram of Taylor (1952)

By Joseph A. C. Humphrey, Jun Chen, Tetsuya Iwasaki and W. Otto Friesen


The analysis of undulatory swimming gaits requires knowledge of the fluid forces acting on the animal body during swimming. In his classical 1952 paper, Taylor analysed this problem using a ‘resistive-force’ theory. The theory was used to characterize the undulatory gaits that result in the smallest energy dissipation to the fluid for a given swim velocity. The optimal gaits thus found were compared with data recorded from movies of a snake and a leech swimming. This report identifies and corrects a mathematical error in Taylor’s paper, showing that his theory applies even better to animals of circular cross section

Topics: Reports
Publisher: The Royal Society
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Provided by: PubMed Central
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