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Energetic advantages of burst-and-coast swimming of fish at high speeds
J. J. Videler, D. Weihs


A theoretical model describes how an intermittent swimming style can be energetically advantageous over continuous swimming at high average velocities. Kinematic data are collected from high-speed cine pictures of free swimming cod and saithe at high velocities in a burst-and-coast style. These data suggest that fish make use of the advantages shown by choosing initial and final burst velocities close to predicted optimal values. The limiting role of rapid glycogen depletion in fast white anaerobic muscle fibres is discussed.