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Sensitivity analysis of kinematic approximations in dynamic medusan swimming models
John O. Dabiri, Morteza Gharib


Models of medusan swimming typically rely on kinematic approximations to observed animal morphology to make such investigations tractable. The effect of these simplifications on the accuracy of predicted dynamics has not been examined in detail. We conduct a case study of the scyphozoan jellyfish Chrysaora fuscescens to isolate and quantify the sensitivity of dynamic models to common kinematic approximations. It is found that dynamic models exhibit strong dependence on the nature of some approximations and the context in which they are implemented. Therefore it is incorrect and potentially misleading to assume that achieving kinematic similarity in models of measured animal locomotion will necessarily provide dynamically correct models.

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