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Hydrodynamics of fossil fishes

Fletcher, T.; Altringham, J.; Peakall, J.; Wignall, P.; Dorrell, R.

Authors

T. Fletcher

J. Altringham

J. Peakall

P. Wignall



Abstract

From their earliest origins, fishes have developed a suite of adaptations for locomotion in water, which determine performance and ultimately fitness. Even without data from behaviour, soft tissue and extant relatives, it is possible to infer a wealth of palaeobiological and palaeoecological information. As in extant species, aspects of gross morphology such as streamlining, fin position and tail type are optimized even in the earliest fishes, indicating similar life strategies have been present throughout their evolutionary history. As hydrodynamical studies become more sophisticated, increasingly complex fluid movement can be modelled, including vortex formation and boundary layer control. Drag-reducing riblets ornamenting the scales of fast-moving sharks have been subjected to particularly intense research, but this has not been extended to extinct forms. Riblets are a convergent adaptation seen in many Palaeozoic fishes, and probably served a similar hydrodynamic purpose. Conversely, structures which appear to increase skin friction may act as turbulisors, reducing overall dragwhile serving a protective function. Here,we examine the diverse adaptions that contribute to drag reduction in modern fishes and review the few attempts to elucidate the hydrodynamics of extinct forms.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jun 18, 2014
Journal Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences
Print ISSN 0962-8452
Electronic ISSN 1471-2954
Publisher Royal Society, The
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 281
Issue 1788
Pages 20140703-20140703
APA6 Citation Fletcher, T., Altringham, J., Peakall, J., Wignall, P., & Dorrell, R. (2014). Hydrodynamics of fossil fishes. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences, 281(1788), 20140703-20140703. https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.0703
DOI https://doi.org/10.1098/rspb.2014.0703
Keywords Biomechanics; Comparative anatomy; Fishes; Functional morphology; Hydrodynamics; Locomotion
Publisher URL http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/281/1788/20140703
Copyright Statement © 2014 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.

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Copyright Statement
© 2014 The Authors. Published by the Royal Society under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/, which permits unrestricted use, provided the original author and source are credited.





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