a1 Department of Mechanical Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA
Fish escaping from predators exhibit amazing acceleration. The hydrodynamic mechanisms employed to power this acceleration are highlighted in the paper by Gazzola, van Rees & Koumoutsakos (J. Fluid Mech., this issue, vol. 698, 2012, pp. 5–17), showing that the fish bends its entire body and caudal fin, in order to entrap and then accelerate as large a mass of water as possible. It is also shown that hydrodynamic optimization drives the fast-start kinematics.
(Received February 07 2012)
(Reviewed February 07 2012)
(Accepted February 07 2012)