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Published February 2009 | public
Journal Article

A fluid mechanical model for current-generating-feeding of jellyfish and the effect of prey size and escape forces


Many jellyfish species, e.g. moon jellyfish Aurelia aurita, use body motion to generate fluid currents which carry their prey to the vicinity of their capture appendages. In this study, a model was developed to understand the fluid mechanics for this current-generating-feeding mode of jellyfish. The flow generated by free-swimming Aurelia aurita was measured using digital particle image velocimetry. The dynamics of prey (e.g., brine shrimp Artemia) in the flow field were described by a modified Maxey-Riley equation which takes into consideration the inertia of prey and the escape forces, which prey exert in the presence of predator. A Lagrangian analysis was used to identify the region of the flow in which prey can be captured by the jellyfish and the clearance rate was quantified. The study provides a new methodology to study biological current-generating-feeding and the transport and mixing of particles in fluid flow in general.

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© 2009 Oxford University Press.

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