Fish Biomechanics

Science Center Objects

Biomechanics is the study of mechanical laws relating to the movement of living organisms. In regards to fish, biomechanics pertains to the body shape of different species and the various structures of fish muscles, fins, etc. The biomechanics of a fish impact its swimming performance which in turn affects its ability to surpass barriers to movement. Understanding the biomechanical drivers of swimming performance enables biologists and engineers to better design fishways to improve access to habitat, but it can also be used to exclude invasive species from pristine habitats.  The S.O. Conte Anadromous Fish Research Laboratory houses several unique facilities for studying fish swimming abilities. Shown here is a sea lamprey swimming against a high-velocity flow in the aquatic biomechanics and kinematics station (ABiKiS)—a tiltable flume made of clear acrylic that allows for the detailed study of the lamprey’s swimming ability and its biomechanical drivers.

 

aquatic biomechanics

Aquatic biomechanics and kinematics station (ABiKiS) at LSC-Conte.  Photo description:  Sea lamprey swimming against high-velocity flow in the aquatic biomechanics and kinematics station (ABiKiS)—a tiltable flume made of clear acrylic that allows for detailed study of both swimming ability and its biomechanical drivers.
(Public domain.)