Nature Blog Network

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Jetpropulsion in juvenile squids and cuttlefish

I'm in the process of narrowing down my options for masters programs for next fall and ran across the Marine Biology program at the University of Groningen and its opportunities for masters research page. A number of interesting projects there, but one that caught my eye especially was the Jetpropulsion in juvenile squids and cuttlefish with Eize Stamhuis & Henk-Jan Hoving. Combines molluscs (even better cephalopods), juvenile forms, physics and scuba for sample collecting!

"Juvenile squid and cuttlefish start to swim immediately after hatching from the eggs. Adult squids and cuttlefish propel themselves by jet-propulsion, that is by accelerating a mass of water through the siphon outwards by contraction of their mantle. This process relies on inertial forces only: action = reaction ( Newton ’s third law). Freshly hatched juvenile squids and cuttlefish are so small (2 to 5 mm) that viscosity may also be a ruling factor. Till today, nobody has studied the flow producing capacities of juvenile cephalopods in relation to adults. Here we plan to have hatching squid and cuttlefish eggs in the lab to study the swimming behaviour of the juveniles as well as their flow production capacities immediately after hatching to study how they deal with the balance between viscosity and inertia."

1 comment:

  1. That would be a cool project! I always loved biomechanics. My other option for grad school was studying the biomechanics of siphonophore propulsion and colony formation.


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