Phenomena

Corralling Corals

Poster depicting the pathlines created by swimming coral larvae.

So much of fluid dynamics is seeking patterns. Shown here are two sets of patterns, each created by a different species of coral larvae. These tiny creatures form a streaming flow (orange inset) around them as they swim. Combined together in a petri dish, the larvae follow winding paths, shown in white. The overall pattern is distinctly different for the two species. One shows a clear preference for paths near the wall of the dish (left), while the other corkscrews through open spaces (right). This difference raises questions researchers can explore: do the larvae differ in their propulsion methods or in their collective behavior? (Image credit: G. Juarez and D. Gysbers)

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