Flexible paddle sheds new light on speed: A novel method for the remote measurement of swim speed in aquatic animals

Shepard, Emily L. C., Wilson, Rory P., Liebsch, Nikolai, Quintana, Flavio, Gomez Laich, Agustina and Lucke, Klaus (2008) Flexible paddle sheds new light on speed: A novel method for the remote measurement of swim speed in aquatic animals. Endangered Species Research, 4 1-2: 157-164. doi:10.3354/esr00052


Author Shepard, Emily L. C.
Wilson, Rory P.
Liebsch, Nikolai
Quintana, Flavio
Gomez Laich, Agustina
Lucke, Klaus
Title Flexible paddle sheds new light on speed: A novel method for the remote measurement of swim speed in aquatic animals
Journal name Endangered Species Research   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1863-5407
1613-4796
Publication date 2008-01-01
Year available 2007
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.3354/esr00052
Open Access Status DOI
Volume 4
Issue 1-2
Start page 157
End page 164
Total pages 8
Editor Brendan Godley
Stuart Bearhop
Steven Cooke
Alan Dixson
Dave Hodgson
Helene Marsh
Jason Matthiopoulos
Rory Wilson
Place of publication Oldendorf, Germany
Publisher Inter-Research
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Speed is a key determinant of energy expenditure in free-living animals, and particularly in marine vertebrates, where power requirements for swimming increase as a cubed function of the speed. However, current devices used to measure swim speed in free-living animals have limitations, including excessive drag, low resolution, high stall speed (ca. 0.3 m s–1), cost, biofouling and susceptibility to damage. We present a speed sensor system that utilises the reflectance of infrared light against a flexible paddle that bends in relation to the flow of water over the study animal. In laboratory trials, this performed well across a range of speeds (0.1 to 1.75 m s–1), and had a stall speed of 0.1 m s–1. The advantages of this present paddle system are that it is impervious to the presence of matter in the water column, is inexpensive and easily replaceable. Furthermore, the system is able to record speed data at an unparalleled resolution, limited solely by sampling frequency. Data from deployments of devices on free-living imperial cormorants Phalacrocorax atriceps identified changes in speed within and between swim strokes, and also showed that greater speed was generated per kick as the buoyancy decreased with depth. As such, the flexible paddle system holds promise for the measurement of speed in free-living, aquatic animals.
Keyword Speed
Dive behaviour
Electronic tagging
Marine predator
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status Non-UQ
Additional Notes Published online October 19, 2007. ESR THEME SECTION: Tracking Vertebrates for Conservation.

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Queensland Brain Institute Publications
ERA 2012 Admin Only
 
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Created: Wed, 19 Oct 2011, 21:59:28 EST by Nikolai Liebsch on behalf of Queensland Brain Institute