Scaling effects in caudal fin propulsion and the speed of ichthyosaurs

@article{Motani2002ScalingEI,
  title={Scaling effects in caudal fin propulsion and the speed of ichthyosaurs},
  author={Ryosuke Motani},
  journal={Nature},
  year={2002},
  volume={415},
  pages={309-312}
}
  • R. Motani
  • Published 17 January 2002
  • Environmental Science
  • Nature
Four unrelated groups of large cruising vertebrates (tunas, whales, lamnid sharks and parvipelvian ichthyosaurs) evolved tuna-shaped (thunniform) body plans. Stringent physical constraints, imposed by the surrounding fluids, are probably responsible for this example of evolutionary convergence. Here I present a mathematical model of swimming kinematics and fluid mechanics that specifies and quantifies such constraints, and test the model with empirical data. The test shows quantitatively that… 

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