Development of a vortex generator to perturb fish locomotion

Deeksha Seth, Brooke E. Flammang, George V. Lauder, James L. Tangorra

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Scopus citations


Knowledge about the stiffness of fish fins, and whether stiffness is modulated during swimming, is important for understanding the mechanics of a fin's force production. However, the mechanical properties of fins have not been studied during natural swimming, in part because of a lack of instrumentation. To remedy this, a vortex generator was developed that produces traveling vortices of adjustable strength which can be used to perturb the fins of swimming fish. Experiments were conducted to understand how the generator's settings affected the resulting vortex rings. A variety of vortices (14-32 mm diameter traveling at 371-2155 mm s-1) were produced that elicited adequate responses from the fish fins to help us to understand the fin's mechanical properties at various swimming speeds (0-350 mm s-1).

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)959-963
Number of pages5
JournalJournal of Experimental Biology
Issue number6
StatePublished - Mar 15 2017

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Ecology, Evolution, Behavior and Systematics
  • Physiology
  • Aquatic Science
  • Animal Science and Zoology
  • Molecular Biology
  • Insect Science


  • Bluegill sunfish
  • Fish swimming
  • Mechanical properties
  • Perturbation
  • Stiffness
  • Vortex ring


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