Archer fish knock down insects anchored to vegetation by hitting them with a precisely aimed jet of water. The striking force of the jet at the impact is such to overcome the strong anchoring forces of insects. The origin of the effectiveness of such hunting mechanism has been long searched for inside of the fish, in the unsuccessful attempt to identify internal structures dedicated to the amplification of muscular power. Here we perform a kinematic analysis of the jet emitted by two specimens of Toxotes jaculatrix. We estimate that at the impact the jet conveys a typical specific power of about 3000 W/kg, which is well above the maximum specific power of the order of 500 W/kg deliverable by a vertebrate muscle. Unexpectedly, we find that the amplification of muscular power occurs outside of the fish, and is due to a hydrodynamic instability of the jet akin to those occurring in Drop-on-Demand inkjet printing. The investigated fish are found to modulate the velocity of the jet at the orifice to favor the formation of a single, large, water drop that hits the prey abruptly with a large momentum. The observed mechanism represents a remarkable example of use of an external hydrodynamic lever that does possibly not entail the high evolutionary cost needed for the development of highly specialized internal structures dedicated to the storing of mechanical energy.
How Archer Fish Achieve a Powerful Impact: Hydrodynamic Instability of a Pulsed Jet in Toxotes jaculatrix / A. Vailati, L. Zinnato, R. Cerbino. - In: PLOS ONE. - ISSN 1932-6203. - 7:10(2012 Oct 24), pp. e47867.e47867.1-e47867.e47867.8.
|Titolo:||How Archer Fish Achieve a Powerful Impact: Hydrodynamic Instability of a Pulsed Jet in Toxotes jaculatrix|
VAILATI, ALBERTO (Primo)
CERBINO, ROBERTO (Ultimo)
|Parole Chiave:||fluid dynamics ; instabilities ; liquid jets ; applied physics|
|Settore Scientifico Disciplinare:||Settore FIS/07 - Fisica Applicata(Beni Culturali, Ambientali, Biol.e Medicin)|
Settore FIS/03 - Fisica della Materia
|Data di pubblicazione:||24-ott-2012|
|Digital Object Identifier (DOI):||http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0047867|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||01 - Articolo su periodico|