Northwest Fisheries Science Center

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Document Type: Journal Article
Center: NWFSC
Document ID: 8292
Title: Numerical analysis of a unique mode of locomotion: vertical climbing by Pacific lamprey
Author: Q. Zhu, Mary L. Moser, Paul S. Kemp
Publication Year: 2011
Journal: Bioinspiration & Biomimetics
Volume: 6
Issue: 1
Pages: 016005
Keywords: lamprey, migration, movement, locomotion, burst swim,

Pacific lampreys are capable of climbing vertical wetted surfaces through a two–phase (bending and stretching) locomotion mode using the oral disc for adherence.  We investigate the physical mechanism and performance of this process by using a continuous beam model.  Two mechanisms, one akin to the jumping process and the other related to the fast stretching of the body, have been identified.  This locomotion mode may inspire biomimetic designs of anguilliform swimming devices capable of overcoming steep obstacles.  By using a genetic algorithm simulation, we identify the combination of kinematic parameters corresponding to optimal efficiency (defined as the gravitational potential energy gained in each climbing step divided by the energy spent to activate the motion).  These parameters are similar to laboratory observations of lamprey motion, suggesting that this type of locomotion has been optimized for maximum efficiency through evolution. 

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Theme: Ecosystem approach to improve management of marine resources
Foci: Provide scientific support for the implementation of ecosystem-based management