The vertical lift forces generated by the legs of Nymphon while swimming at constant depth have been estimated graphically using drag constants determined by a sedimentation method. Drag both normal and tangential to the different segments of the leg has been considered.
When holding station Nymphon characteristically employs a low elevation beat in which the upward force produced during the power stroke of each leg only just exceeds the predominantly downward force generated during the recovery. An upward lift component is also produced late during the recovery stroke.
The legs beat in a vertical plane and an investigation of the moments at the joints of the leg suggests that much of the power stroke is gravity assisted.
The upward lift produced by all eight legs agreed fairly well on average with the sinking force due to the animal's weight in water, and the vertical lift fluctuates rhythmically throughout the leg beat cycle. The relationship between the swimming gait and the amplitude of these fluctuations has been investigated. During the gait most frequently used by the animal fluctuations in vertical lift were found to be minimal.
The Swimming of Nymphon Gracile (Pycnogonida): The Vertical Lift Forces Generated while Swimming at Constant Depth
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ELFED MORGAN, STEPHEN V. HAYES; The Swimming of Nymphon Gracile (Pycnogonida): The Vertical Lift Forces Generated while Swimming at Constant Depth. J Exp Biol 1 December 1977; 71 (1): 187–203. doi: https://doi.org/10.1242/jeb.71.1.187
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