Swimming speed estimation of extinct marine reptiles: energetic approach revisited

  title={Swimming speed estimation of extinct marine reptiles: energetic approach revisited},
  author={Ryosuke Motani},
  • R. Motani
  • Published in Paleobiology 1 March 2002
  • Environmental Science
Abstract Cruising speeds of Mesozoic marine reptiles have been estimated in the past by using a mathematical model of energetic equilibrium during steady swimming. This method suffered from a significant tendency to overestimate speeds of extant cetaceans for no clear reason, which raised questions about the validity of the approach itself. The present study identifies the factors that caused this shortcoming and proposes corrections and some additional modifications. These include the use of… 

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The Evolution of Marine Reptiles

  • R. Motani
  • Environmental Science, Geography
    Evolution: Education and Outreach
  • 2009
There were more than a dozen groups of marine reptiles in the Mesozoic, of which four had more than 30 genera, namely sauropterygians (including plesiosaurs), ichthyopterygian, mosasaurs, and sea turtles, who explored many different swimming styles and diets.



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The metabolic cost of swimming in marine homeotherms.

The work shows the metabolic Costs of propulsion and thermoregulation in a swimming homeotherm to be interlinked and suggests differing costs of propulsion for different modes of swimming.

Energy expenditure of swimming bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus)

Breathing rates during all experiments correlated very well with oxygen consumption and could be used to derive metabolic rates in unencumbered dolphins at sea.

Eel-like swimming in the earliest ichthyosaurs

The most complete specimen of the oldest known ichthyosaur, Chensaurus, is reported, representing a transition between the two body plans, and seems to be an evolutionary intermediate between the shorter-bodied terrestrial stock from which the group evolved, and advanced thunniform ICHthyosaurs.


Summary The power output and propulsive efficiency of swimming bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) were determined from a hydromechanica l model. The propulsive movements were filmed as dolphins

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The energetic profile of the exercising bottlenose dolphin resembles that of a relatively sedentary mammal if the exercise variables defined for terrestrial mammals are used, however, the energetic cost of swimming for this cetacean is low in comparison to that of other aquatic and semi-aquatic mammals.

Metabolism of leatherback turtles, gigantothermy, and thermoregulation of dinosaurs

It is indicated that leatherbacks can use large body size, peripheral tissues as insulation, and circulatory changes, to maintain warm temperatures in the North Atlantic and to avoid overheating in the tropics.

Comparative kinematics and hydrodynamics of odontocete cetaceans: morphological and ecological correlates with swimming performance.

  • F. Fish
  • Environmental Science
    The Journal of experimental biology
  • 1998
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  • DewarGraham
  • Environmental Science
    The Journal of experimental biology
  • 1994
The metabolic rates of yellowfin tuna, kawakawa and skipjack were estimated using a large water-tunnel respirometer and the SV(dot)O2 of tuna is comparable to values determined previously by stasis respirometry and is approximately three times higher than that of salmonids.

Propulsion of a fin whale ( Balenoptera physalus) : why the fin whale is a fast swimmer

  • N. BoseJ. Lien
  • Engineering
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. B. Biological Sciences
  • 1989
A strip theory was developed to calculate the hydrodynamic performance of the whale’s flukes as an oscillating propeller and the effects of the different correction factors, and of the frictional drag of the fluke sections, are emphasized.