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Lift-based paddling in diving grebe.
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Lift-based paddling in diving grebe.

Author: LC Johansson Affiliation: Department of Zoology, Göteborg University, Box 463, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden. christoffer.johansson@zool.gu.se; Lindhe Norberg UM
Edition/Format: Article Article : English
Publication:The Journal of experimental biology, 2001 May; 204 Pt 10: 1687-96
Other Databases: WorldCatWorldCat
Summary:
To examine the hydrodynamic propulsion mechanism of a diving great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus), the three-dimensional kinematics was determined by digital analysis of sequential video images of dorsal and lateral views. During the acceleration phase of this foot-propelled bird, the feet move through an arc in a plane nearly normal to the bird's line of motion through the water, i.e. the toes move dorsally and  Read more...
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Details

Document Type: Article
All Authors / Contributors: LC Johansson Affiliation: Department of Zoology, Göteborg University, Box 463, SE-405 30 Göteborg, Sweden. christoffer.johansson@zool.gu.se; Lindhe Norberg UM
ISSN:0022-0949
Language Note: English
Unique Identifier: 119093550
Awards:

Abstract:

To examine the hydrodynamic propulsion mechanism of a diving great crested grebe (Podiceps cristatus), the three-dimensional kinematics was determined by digital analysis of sequential video images of dorsal and lateral views. During the acceleration phase of this foot-propelled bird, the feet move through an arc in a plane nearly normal to the bird's line of motion through the water, i.e. the toes move dorsally and medially but not caudally relative to the water. The kinematics of the grebe's lobed feet is different from that in anseriforms, whose feet move in a plane mostly parallel to the bird's line of progress through the water. Our results suggest that the foot-propelled locomotor mechanism of grebes is based primarily on a lift-producing leg and foot stroke, in contrast to the drag-based locomotion assumed previously. We suggest that the lift-based paddling of grebes considerably increases both maximum swimming speed and energetic efficiency over drag-based propulsion. Furthermore, the results implicate a new interpretation of the functional morphology of these birds, with the toes serving as a self-stabilizing multi-slotted hydrofoil during the power phase.

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Primary Entity

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