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22.10.2012 20:43:55
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2.3. What is the secret of dolphin speed?

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There was created a whole direction in hydrobionics when scientists were trying to find this mechanism or to deny J. Gray's calculations. Because of the rapid growth of interest to bionics in the early 60's the scientists were began to pay a special attention to the swimming of dolphins. According to the publications the studies in this area were conducted mainly in Great Britain, USA and USSR [3].
Many years the searches of the dolphin's speed secret were conducted mainly in the field of studying of the structure and various properties of dolphin's integument: there was a view of creation of an artificial covering for sea ships which would have an ability of an integument to damp the fluctuations of the boundary layer. However till now there are no convincing proofs which were experimentally confirmed that it's only in the skin. Here it is appropriate to notice that the most high-speed fishes of the world ocean, such as tuna, marlins, swordfish, bodies of these fishes are covered mostly with a big, tough scales, and to talk about some of damping properties of such coverage doesn't make any sense, and the speed of them under the water reaches 100 km/hour.
Meanwhile J. Gray in the same work suggested that the boundary layer laminirization mechanism can be connected with the presence of so-called negative gradient of dynamic fluid pressure along the body of the animal, due to the active motion of the body like the dolphins, as well as the fish. Simply speaking, the nature of the movements of a floating body reduces the pressure of the fluid from head to tail, and this reduces the degree of turbulence. However, so far no one has described theoretically the mechanism of the dolphin's movement, or, moreover, has obtained experimentally proofs (effects) connected with the reproduction of the kinematics of dolphin's.

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