Surprising tradeoffs and consequences of locomotion in simple, enigmatic marine animals

Date(s) : 22/07/2020
16 h 00 min - 17 h 00 min

Abstract: Animals are characterized by their movement, and their tissues are continuously subjected to dynamic force loading. The adaptive response and mechanics of tissues determine the ecological niches that can be endured by a living organism. In the first part of my talk, I will present our surprising discovery of locomotion-induced tissue fractures and healing in a simple, early divergent marine animal – the Trichoplax adhaerens. I will demonstrate how fracture mechanics governs dramatic shape changes and asexual reproduction in this animal.
In the second part of my talk, I will focus on the role of fluid mechanics in marine invertebrates. Many marine invertebrates have larval stages covered in linear arrays of beating cilia, which propel the animal while simultaneously entraining prey. In starfish larvae, we discovered that these ciliary arrays give rise to a beautiful pattern of slowly evolving vortices. I will elucidate how these vortices create a physical tradeoff between feeding and swimming in heterogeneous environments.

For more information, please visit:

See also : Interdisciplinary Online Seminar Series on Biolocomotion (IOSSB) on ANR AIFIT website.

Speaker: Prof. Dr. Vivek Prakash, University of Miami

University of Miami


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