Complex flow in the nasal region of guitarfishes

Agbesi, Mawuli P. K., Naylor, Sara, Perkins, Elizabeth, Borsuk, Heather S., Sykes, Dan, Maclaine, James S., Wang, Zhijin and Cox, Jonathan P. L. (2016) Complex flow in the nasal region of guitarfishes. Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A : Molecular and Integrative Physiology, 193 52-63. doi:10.1016/j.cbpa.2015.12.007

Author Agbesi, Mawuli P. K.
Naylor, Sara
Perkins, Elizabeth
Borsuk, Heather S.
Sykes, Dan
Maclaine, James S.
Wang, Zhijin
Cox, Jonathan P. L.
Title Complex flow in the nasal region of guitarfishes
Journal name Comparative Biochemistry and Physiology Part A : Molecular and Integrative Physiology   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1531-4332
Publication date 2016-03-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1016/j.cbpa.2015.12.007
Open Access Status Not Open Access
Volume 193
Start page 52
End page 63
Total pages 12
Place of publication Philadelphia, PA United States
Publisher Elsevier
Language eng
Formatted abstract
Scent detection in an aquatic environment is dependent on the movement of water. We set out to determine the mechanisms for moving water through the olfactory organ of guitarfishes (Rhinobatidae, Chondrichthyes) with open nasal cavities. We found at least two. In the first mechanism, which we identified by observing dye movement in the nasal region of a life-sized physical model of the head of Rhinobatos lentiginosus mounted in a flume, olfactory flow is generated by the guitarfish's motion relative to water, e.g. when it swims. We suggest that the pressure difference responsible for motion-driven olfactory flow is caused by the guitarfish's nasal flaps, which create a region of high pressure at the incurrent nostril, and a region of low pressure in and behind the nasal cavity. Vortical structures in the nasal region associated with motion-driven flow may encourage passage of water through the nasal cavity and its sensory channels, and may also reduce the cost of swimming. The arrangement of vortical structures is reminiscent of aircraft wing vortices. In the second mechanism, which we identified by observing dye movement in the nasal regions of living specimens of Glaucostegus typus, the guitarfish's respiratory pump draws flow through the olfactory organ in a rhythmic (0.5–2 Hz), but continuous, fashion. Consequently, the respiratory pump will maintain olfactory flow whether the guitarfish is swimming or at rest. Based on our results, we propose a model for olfactory flow in guitarfishes with open nasal cavities, and suggest other neoselachians which this model might apply to.
Keyword Elasmobranch
Fluid dynamics
Image processing
Reynolds number
Three-dimensional printing
X-ray microcomputed tomography
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
Collections: Faculty of Science Publications
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