The mechanics of locomotion in the squid Loligo pealei: locomotory function and unsteady hydrodynamics of the jet and intramantle pressure

E J Anderson, M E DeMont
Journal of Experimental Biology 2000, 203: 2851-63
High-speed, high-resolution digital video recordings of swimming squid (Loligo pealei) were acquired. These recordings were used to determine very accurate swimming kinematics, body deformations and mantle cavity volume. The time-varying squid profile was digitized automatically from the acquired swimming sequences. Mantle cavity volume flow rates were determined under the assumption of axisymmetry and the condition of incompressibility. The data were then used to calculate jet velocity, jet thrust and intramantle pressure, including unsteady effects. Because of the accurate measurements of volume flow rate, the standard use of estimated discharge coefficients was avoided. Equations for jet and whole-cycle propulsive efficiency were developed, including a general equation incorporating unsteady effects. Squid were observed to eject up to 94 % of their intramantle working fluid at relatively high swimming speeds. As a result, the standard use of the so-called large-reservoir approximation in the determination of intramantle pressure by the Bernoulli equation leads to significant errors in calculating intramantle pressure from jet velocity and vice versa. The failure of this approximation in squid locomotion also implies that pressure variation throughout the mantle cannot be ignored. In addition, the unsteady terms of the Bernoulli equation and the momentum equation proved to be significant to the determination of intramantle pressure and jet thrust. Equations of propulsive efficiency derived for squid did not resemble Froude efficiency. Instead, they resembled the equation of rocket motor propulsive efficiency. The Froude equation was found to underestimate the propulsive efficiency of the jet period of the squid locomotory cycle and to overestimate whole-cycle propulsive efficiency when compared with efficiencies calculated from equations derived with the squid locomotory apparatus in mind. The equations for squid propulsive efficiency reveal that the refill period of squid plays a greater role, and the jet period a lesser role, in the low whole-cycle efficiencies predicted in squid and similar jet-propelled organisms. These findings offer new perspectives on locomotory hydrodynamics, intramantle pressure measurements and functional morphology with regard to squid and other jet-propelled organisms.

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