Physics of swimming in copepods

Hydrodynamics and energetics of jumping copepod nauplii and copepodids

In a new paper researchers from DTU Physics and DTU Aqua describe the hydrodynamic and energetic changes experienced by copepods, as they go through their development from nauplii to adults.

Navish Wadhwa1, Anders Andersen1, and Thomas Kiørboe2

First posted online June 19, 2014. Journal of Experimental Biology. doi: 10.1242/jeb.105676

A copepod goes through dramatic changes in shape, size, and swimming gait, as it goes through the different stages of its life cycle. The physiological changes are bound to result in physical changes, affecting the hydrodynamics of swimming and feeding. In this study, the authors have quantified these changes by measuring the fluid flow around a copepod, at various stages of its life cycle. The results show that nauplii and copepodid stages create very different flow structures while swimming and have different swimming efficiencies. A copepodid is hydrodynamically quieter than its younger counterpart, allowing it to better hide from predators. 

Department of Physics and Centre for Ocean Life, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark
National Institute for Aquatic Resources and Centre for Ocean Life, Technical University of Denmark, DK-2920 Charlottenlund, Denmark