The swimming of manta rays

Alexander J. Smits, Keith W. Moored, Peter A. Dewey

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

6 Scopus citations


Manta rays propel themselves by combining oscillating and undulating motions of flexible surfaces. We describe two experiments to study the effects of excitation and flexibility on the wake flowfield: experiments on undulating and flapping three-dimensional fins of elliptical planform, and experiments on pitching two-dimensional panels of rectangular planform with varying flexibility. To interpret the results on thrust and efficiency, we propose scalings for aspect ratio and flexibility, and develop a stability analysis called wake resonance theory. Here we focus on the insights provided by wake resonance theory.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationLecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering
PublisherSpringer Heidelberg
Number of pages10
StatePublished - 2014

Publication series

NameLecture Notes in Mechanical Engineering
ISSN (Print)2195-4356
ISSN (Electronic)2195-4364

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Automotive Engineering
  • Aerospace Engineering
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Fluid Flow and Transfer Processes


  • Flexibility
  • Manta ray
  • Swimming
  • Wake resonance


Dive into the research topics of 'The swimming of manta rays'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this