Mechanical models of sandfish locomotion reveal principles of high performance subsurface sand-swimming

Mechanical models of sandfish locomotion reveal principles of high performance subsurface sand-swimming

Mechanical models of sandfish locomotion reveal principles of high performance subsurface sand-swimming

Assistant Professor Daniel Goldman and his group integrated biological experiment, empirical theory, numerical simulation and a physical model to reveal principles of undulatory locomotion in granular media. High-speed X-ray imaging of the sandfish lizard showed that it swims within the medium without using its limbs by propagating a single-period travelling sinusoidal wave down its body. Using these models and analytical solutions of the RFT, they varied the ratio of undulation amplitude to wavelength (A/λ) and demonstrate an optimal condition for sand-swimming, which for a given A results from the competition between η and λ.  J. R. Soc. Interface, September 7, 2011 8:1332-1345.

Media