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Journal of Experimental Biology partnership with Dryad

Studies in Animal Locomotion


1. If the resistance of an actively swimming dolphin is equal to that of a rigid model towed at the same speed, the muscles must be capable of generating energy at a rate at least seven times greater than that of other types of mammalian muscle.

2. Observation of the flow of particles past the surface of models similar in form to a fish or dolphin shows that rhythmical movements, such as are characteristic of the body and caudal fin of the living animals, exert an accelerating effect on the surrounding water in the direction of the posterior end of the model. An effect of this type may be expected to prevent turbulence in the flow of water past the body.

3. If the flow of water past the body of a dolphin is free from turbulence, the horse-power developed per pound of muscle agrees closely with that of other types of mammalian muscle.