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The most efficient swimmer in the animal kingdom?



  A large jellyfish swimming in the sea
Dan90266 / Wikimedia

Answer: Jellyfish

Yearly estimates of swimming efficiency were based on a ratio of the size of the marine animal to the amount of food consumed and the distance traveled. In such measures, where it depends on how much energy is required to move the mass, it was common for large whales like the blue whale to dominate the maps, as the whale could easily move over long distances. Alternative, but closely related, speed and energy efficient measures generally target the fleet bluefin tuna in the first place.

However, research by engineering professor Neelesh Patankar shows a very different picture of efficiency. Based on the aerospace equations, he found that the efficiency of the movement of marine animals is essentially the same: due to their size and shape, each animal is equally energy efficient. The efficiency remained constant in all creatures, with the exception of the jellyfish.

The contraction and relaxation movement of the jellyfish through the water actually allows them to recover some of their spent energy (much like a biological flywheel) and use that energy for the next boost. Thanks to the already efficient movement and the energy generated with each water boost, the jellyfish dissolves from the mass-energy constant, which applies to other marine life, and ends more efficiently than any other floating creature on earth.

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