Research

The Archer Fish’s Arrow

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Archer fish hunt by shooting jets of water at their prey to knock them into the water where the fish can eat them. Previous research showed that the archer fish’s projectile jet is pulsed such that the water released at a later time has a greater velocity. This makes the jet bunch up so that a ball of liquid hits the prey with greater force than the jet would otherwise. A recently released paper shows that the archer fish actively adjust their liquid jets in order to strike targets at different distances while maintaining this bunching effect. To control the jets, the fish adjust both how long they jet and what speed they impart to the fluid by changing how they open and close their mouths. (VIdeo credit: Nature; research credit: P. Gerullis and S. Schuster; via phys.org; submitted by @jchawner)

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