Hydrodynamics of Vortex Generation during Bell Contraction by the Hydromedusa Eutonina indicans (Romanes, 1876). Academic Article uri icon


  • Swimming bell kinematics and hydrodynamic wake structures were documented during multiple pulsation cycles of a Eutonina indicans (Romanes, 1876) medusa swimming in a predominantly linear path. Bell contractions produced pairs of vortex rings with opposite rotational sense. Analyses of the momentum flux in these wake structures demonstrated that vortex dynamics related directly to variations in the medusa swimming speed. Furthermore, a bulk of the momentum flux in the wake was concentrated spatially at the interfaces between oppositely rotating vortices rings. Similar thrust-producing wake structures have been described in models of fish swimming, which posit vortex rings as vehicles for energy transport from locations of body bending to regions where interacting pairs of opposite-sign vortex rings accelerate the flow into linear propulsive jets. These findings support efforts toward soft robotic biomimetic propulsion.

publication date

  • July 5, 2019