Experiments on the vortex wake of a swimming knifefish

Zachary J. Taylor, Alexander Liberzon, Roi Gurka, Roi Holzman, Thomas Reesbeck, F. Javier Diez

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


The knifefish species propels itself by generating a reverse Kármán street using an anal fin, and the propulsion of this species is known to be highly efficient (Blake in Can J Zool 61:1432-1441, 1983). Previous studies have suggested that there is an optimal swimming range for fish based on the amplitude and frequency of the reverse Kármán street. In the current study, experiments have been performed to measure the ratio between the amplitude and wavelength of vortices in the wake of a knifefish. It is suggested that the wave efficiency can be estimated by optimizing the thrust created by the reverse Kármán street for a given spacing ratio, and present observations have an average value of 0.89. The relationship established between spacing ratio and wave efficiency, in addition to the measured parameters, will be invaluable for bio-inspired designs based on the knifefish.

Original languageEnglish
Article number1588
JournalExperiments in Fluids
Issue number8
StatePublished - 1 Aug 2013

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computational Mechanics
  • Mechanics of Materials
  • General Physics and Astronomy
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


Dive into the research topics of 'Experiments on the vortex wake of a swimming knifefish'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this