Wed September 13th 2017
16:00 – 17:00
Seminar Fish Swimming
Johan Padding


There is increasing evidence that fish gain energetic benefits from the hydrodynamic interactions when they swim in a school. How such advantages may arise is poorly understood. Current hydrodynamic theories concern either fish swimming side by side or in a diamond configuration and they largely ignore effects of hydrodynamic interactions between individuals. In reality, hydrodynamic effects are complex and fish swim in many configurations. Since these hydrodynamic effects are difficult to study empirically, we investigated them in a computer model by embedding self-propelling fish in a particle-based hydrodynamic fluid. We compare swimming efficiency of model fish (based on shapes of mullets of 126 mm) travelling solitarily and in schools at several inter-individual distances in four different configurations (diamond, rectangular, phalanx and line). We show that these fish always swim more efficiently in a school than alone (except in a dense phalanx). As individual fish in our simulations are not even intending to exploit the hydrodynamic wakes, gains in efficiency are obtained more easily than previously thought.
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The 10th Complex Motion in Fluids 2021
Max Planck Gesellschaft
Centre for Scientific Computing