The elongated body theory has been widely used for calculations of the hydrodynamic propulsive performance of swimming fish. In the biological literature, terms containing the slope of the amplitude function at the tail end have been neglected in the calculations of thrust and efficiency, and a slope of zero has been assumed. However, some fishes, such as saithe and trout, have non-zero values of the slope near the tail end and, when this term is taken into account, the efficiency may be reduced by as much as 20 % and approaches the result given by the three-dimensional waving plate theory. The inclusion of the slope in the efficiency considerations results in an optimum ratio of the swimming speed to the wave speed that is clearly less than 1. It is suggested that the slope terms should be included in the estimation of propulsive performance for fish swimming with variable amplitude.

This content is only available via PDF.